Saturday, November 19, 2005

Stanmore Gets New Rabbi

by Justin Cohen

Thursday 17th of November 2005

Rabbi Mendel Lew was appointed last weekend as the next senior minister of Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue following a vote by members.

The 40-year-old, who will leave Southend & Westcliff Hebrew Congregation to take up the role, said he hoped to take over at the north London community around Pesach.

In a statement, the father of seven said: “I am very honoured and hope to repay the confidence shown in me. I am looking forward to working closely with rabbi Shaw to lead and inspire this wonderful community.”

He told TJ there will be “no fundamental changes to the character of the shul and the community. It is the finest community because of its traditions, ad we will work to enhance it.”

Asked whether his Lubavitch roots will affect the way he leads the community, he added: “Lubavitch children are taught from the earliest age the value of each individual. We are taught to respect others whatever the perceived difference. This is the approach that we will continue in Stanmore.”

Rabbi Lew also paid tribute to the “outstanding and dedicated leadership” of Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, who will step down on 7 January following 19 years as the community’s minister. “He has set high standards in Stanmore and I hope to carry on his good work.”

United Synagogue President Simon Hochhauser said Rabbi Cohen has been a “towering figure in the British Rabbinate.”

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