Statement by Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis on his appointment as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the UK and the Commonwealth
It is with enormous excitement and a deep sense of privilege that I accept the post of Chief Rabbi. I thank the many who are placing their confidence in me and look forward, with God’s help, to leading our community into an era of authentic, inclusive and confident modern Orthodox Judaism.
In assuming this post, I follow in the footsteps of giants. I would like to pay tribute to the current Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, who, with his unique gifts, has served British Jewry with distinction. He has been one of the most articulate faith voices in the world. Through his more than two decades of service, he has brought great honour and blessing to the Jewish community. I look forward to continuing to work with him. I was privileged, as well, to know and admire Lord Sacks’ predecessor, Lord Jakobovits, who I followed as Chief Rabbi of Ireland.
Our United Hebrew Congregations have outstanding Rabbis, and I will seek to inspire and empower them further to transform their synagogues into powerhouses of religious, educational, cultural and social activity.
The Jewish community is widely admired, both within the UK and beyond, and I will endeavor to take us to even greater heights through a deeper commitment to Jewish identity, values and learning.
I will seek to bring an ethical voice to the national debate in these changing and challenging times. A sense of religious identity has never been more relevant, nor more necessary in our fast-changing world and these difficult economic times.
I am indebted to the many teachers and role models who have inspired me, particularly my father and late mother. We share this momentous time with our four sons, Hillel, Danny, Noam and Eitan and their families, and are remembering our late daughter, Liora, with great fondness.
We are thrilled to take on our new role, but will be sad to leave the Finchley community, where we have made many friends over the last 16 years. I now look forward to making the necessary plans to assume office in September 2013, in time for the Jewish New Year.