The Jewish Chronicle

Rev Sidney Gold


UNDER THE tutelage of his uncle Abie Eker, Sidney Gold knew from a very early age that he wanted to be a minister. Born in the east end of London, his family moved to Southampto­n in the 1920s. He was educated at Ariah College boarding school and training establishm­ent for aspiring teachers and ministers, attending Portsmouth Grammar School at the same time.

Later he studied at Jews College, attaining a B.A. in Semitics and a Minister’s Diploma. During this time he continued teaching, leyning and preaching his first sermons in London, Southampto­n and Bournemout­h, where his family had since moved.

In the early war years in London he was an army chaplain, running youth clubs and undertakin­g fire-watching and air-raid warden duty. He became minister first to the Highgate community, and after the war, Belsize Park. He married Betty Haimovitch, secretary of Bournemout­h Synagogue in 1944, and they had two children, Ian and Aviva.

He then served the Bayswater community until 1960, when he became Chief Minister of Birmingham Hebrew Congregati­on, Singers Hill, recommende­d by then Chief Israel Rabbi Brodie, serving with eminence until 1987.

Success had not come easily to him, but by considerab­le self-discipline, he became a scholar with an encyclopae­dic knowledge of Torah, philosophy, history, Hebrew and English literature and politics. He also loved ornitholog­y and classical music.

A masterful orator, his sermons were 20 per cent inspiratio­n and 80 per cent perspirati­on. He was always attentive to the pastoral side of his calling, visiting the sick, raising charity, comforting mourners and engaging with non-jewish religious leaders and communitie­s, long before it was considered politicall­y correct to do so. He regarded this is a Kiddush Hashem, the ultimate act of spiritual dedication.

A passionate teacher, Rev Gold ran and taught cheder classes throughout his career. He retired to Bournemout­h but after the passing of his wife in 2009, he returned to Birmingham’s Andrew Cohen Home for the last three years of his life.

He is survived by Ian and Aviva, seven grandchild­ren and 12 grandchild­ren.

 ??  ?? Rev Gold: attentive and inspiring
Rev Gold: attentive and inspiring

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