Keep faith in the power of charity, urges new Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

 

The weak and the vulnerable in Britain must not be forgotten, the new Chief Rabbi warned today after taking up his post in a ceremony attended by more than 1,000 guests - including the Prince of Wales.

Ephraim Mirvis spoke of his pride in the record of the British Jewish community in charity as he was inducted as 11th Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the UK and the Commonwealth.

He praised the community’s giving, “which is there not only for members of our community but there for those who require assistance throughout the country, and so we need to be committed to one and all”.

The new leader, left, was inducted by his predecessor Lord Sacks, centre, at St John’s Wood Synagogue in north London. The Prince of Wales and Labour leader Ed Miliband were among an audience of around 1,400.

Rabbi Mirvis was senior rabbi at Finchley United Synagogue in north London, which has around 1,800 members and was previously Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1984 to 1992.

In interviews given after he was confirmed in December, Rabbi Mirvis expressed concern over rising anti-semitism in Europe and a decline in religious faith.

But he said he was heartened by census findings for England and Wales showing three out of four people say they have a religious faith.

He added that he believed that the Jewish community in Britain has a "bright future", with the results of the England and Wales census showing a rise of 3,000 in those identifying themselves as Jewish over the last decade to a total of more than 263,000 in 2011.

"We have a wonderful Jewish community in the UK and the results of the census are in many respects encouraging. I think we have a fantastic community in terms of its quality, not only in terms of its quantity," he said.

"The Jewish community has a very bright future in this country," he said.

"Britain has been good to the Jews and the Jews have been good for Britain.

"I feel very privileged indeed to be appointed to be the next Chief Rabbi."

Rabbi Mirvis also told The Independent during his first visit to Germany in 2008 how his family members were victims of the Holocaust and he had grown up in a home where German products were avoided.

He told the newspaper: "I didn't use a Faber-Castell pencil.

"We wouldn't step into a Volkswagen car."

Explaining that this had now changed, he added: "There are still many Jewish people today who would be highly critical of spending a penny in Germany. That's totally understandable.

"But I think it is important to support and encourage the good Germans who are moving forward."

Lord Sacks described Rabbis Mirvis as a "terrific appointment".

Rabbi Mirvis is married to Valerie, a senior social worker in child protection, and the couple have four sons. Their daughter Liora, their eldest child, died in 2011 after a long battle against cancer.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Life and Style
life
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
News
peopleWrestling veteran drifting in and out of consciousness
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Research and Insight Analyst (Mathematics Graduate)

£25000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

IT Support Manager - Staffordshire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Manager - Near...

Nursery assistants required for day to day roles in Cambridge

£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone