Chief Rabbi Visits Birmingham
Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks led the induction of The Chief Minister of Birmingham Hebrew Congregation's on Sunday 1st March 2009, at the prestigious city centre based synagogue, Singers Hill.
Over 500 people attended the event from across the United Kingdom, United States of America and Israel.
The regional representatives were led by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Chauhdry A.Rashid together with local law enforcement personnel and other regional representatives. There were representatives from across the faith community.
The recently appointed minister will become the eleventh minister of the community that boasts a 153 year history. Rabbi Jacobs will become the youngest chief Minister in the history of the synagogue. He took the post of Chief Minister following the unexpected death of the late Chef Minister, Rabbi Dr L Tann. Tann was seen as one of the founding fathers of The Birmingham Interfaith community; having called for calm in the city following the tragic events of 9/11. He died in November 2007.
The Chief Rabbi expressed enthusiasm for the community's future under the leadership of the new Chief Minister.
The Induction Service -
The Service started with an entertaining welcoming speech by the current President - Alan Blumenthal - who emphasised the special quality of the service but drew on his own wedding experience in the shul to highlight the personal affinity many have with the synagogue. The speech was followed by various songs and Psalm 100 and afternoon prayers. After the service, there were prayers read for The British Royal Family and The State of Israel.
The Induction Service itself took form of a prayer and induction speech by The Chief Rabbi Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sachs who then oversaw the prayer said by Rabbi Yossi Jacobs on taking the role of Chief Minister. Jacobs then gave his response to the community. Once he had completed his speech, his Father, Rabbi Chaim Jacobs of Scotland gave him the traditional blessing (given by a parent to their child, traditionally on a Friday night).
The service was very spiritual and enlightening, it demonstrated the strength not only of the Birmingham Jewish community. It emphasised the amazing work carried out in the name of building good bonds between faith communities and secular communities across the city of Birmingham.
The service was followed by light refreshments.
Due to the current Middle East conflict and the increased anti-semitism in the England; the community had to have high security to ensure the safety of over 500 Jewish and non-Jewish visitors.
Welcome by The President Mr Alan Blumenthal,
Prayer for the Congregation ready by Rabbi Yossi Jacobs
Prayer for the Royal Family - Rabbi Mendel Jacobs
Prayer for the State of Israel - in Hebrew - Dr Israel Sandman