The Jewish Chronicle
Jazzman hits right note at Sinai
JUST TWO days after arriving in the UK, Rabbi Paul Strasko was celebrating Shabbat with more than 100 members of his new community at Sinai Synagogue in Leeds.
The professional jazzman brought a distinctive musical flavour to the services at the Reform congregation.
He and his wife, Katrin Bergmann, were treated to a traditional British dinner of fish and chips and mushy peas followed by Eton mess at a community meal on Friday — and a lavish hot kiddush after Shabbat morning prayers.
“I have long heard about the warmth of the Yorkshire welcome,” Rabbi Strasko said. “But I never imagined it would be as warm as this. The Sinai community has made Katrin and I feel very, very welcome and we are looking forward to making Leeds our home for many years to come.”
Rabbi Strasko previously served the congregation in Bainbridge Island, near Seattle. He has also officiated at German communities in Duisburg, Mulheim and Oberhausen and the Reform shul in Geneva. His wife is an accountant with an MA in Jewish studies.
Sinai chair David Israel said “Rabbi Strasko has the potential to take the engaging and exciting way we celebrate Judaism to new heights — and the board of trustees is resolutely behind him in this”.
Naomi Dickson and Baroness Helena Kennedy