Chief Rabbi: a visit on the cards
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis will become the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation of the UK and the Commonwealth in September…and has signalled a visit to Australia and New Zealand.
A spokesman for London-based Rabbi Mirvis told J-Wire: “Rabbi Mirvis has enormous admiration for the Australian and New Zealand Jewish communites and their commitment to Jewish identity, learning and values.
He looks forward to seeing this for himself when he will have the pleasure of visiting these communities in the future. As he has just been appointed and will take up his post in September 2013, no plans for a visit have been discussed.”
Dr Danny Lamm, the president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has welcomed the appointment saying: “Once again we are fortunate in having such an erudite, distinguished man to spiritually lead those in our community who belongs to the relevant congregations.”
Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council added: “The New Zealand Jewish community congratulates Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis on his appointment to the role of Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth. We are sure this will continue the close relationship between the Commonwealth and the community in New Zealand. When appropriate we are looking forward to visit by Rabbi Mirvis and his wife Valerie.”
Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant , president of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria welcomed the appointment. He told J-Wire: “The RCV welcomes the announcement of the appointment of Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, currently the Rabbi of the Finchely Synagogue as the eleventh Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth; we wish him every success in this most auspicious role.
The religious leadership of Victoria and indeed Australia has always held a close and cordial relationship with the office of the Chief Rabbinate in general and Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks in particular. We look forward to continuing this relationship with the new Chief Rabbi towards the future.”
Rabbi Samuel Altschul , the spiritual leader of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation added: “It give me great pleasure that to congratulate Rabbi Mirvis on his appointment to the position as Chief Rabbi. I would like to wish him much beracha and hatzlacha in this important role for commonwealth Jewry and look forward to hosting him in New Zealand should he choose to pay us a visit. Any visit from the Chief Rabbi would be a great Chizzuk for our far flung communities and indeed a great honour.”
Rabbi Mirvis is an alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel. Rav Aharon Lichtenstein wrote to J-Wire: “I take pleasure in extending to my colleague and friend, Rav Ephraim Mirvis, best wishes upon his well-deserved selection to the post of spiritual and communal leadership. As he assumes the mantle of greater responsibility conjoined with fuller opportunity, I pray that he will be aided and guided by divine siyata dishmaya as he confronts the dual challenge of sustaining traditional Torah values and of developing initiatives to meet the needs of fresh vistas of individual and public experience.”