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Chief Rabbi makes move

Last updated: 2003-12-18

In light of the short period remaining on the lease at Hamilton Terrace, held by the United Synagogue and currently the home of the Chief Rabbi Professor Jonathan Sacks and Mrs Sacks, discussions have been held between the various interested parties on their future accommodation arrangements and a range of options have been considered.

The Chief Rabbi and Mrs Sacks, together with the trustees of the United Synagogue and the Chief Rabbinate Trust have now agreed that the United Synagogue’s interest in the existing residence should be realised and that a new home will be purchased as a Chief Rabbi’s residence, closer to the main grouping of synagogues situated in North West London, as soon as practicable.  The planned move will enable him to be within walking distance of many more communities.

In order to maintain valuable ties with the communities in the centre of London, the Chief Rabbi will also be taking up an invitation from Western Marble Arch Synagogue (“WMA”), where he has regularly been occupying the pulpit for a number of years, to formally make that pulpit his, and that synagogue his “seat”.  Suitable accommodation will be provided for the Chief Rabbi within the WMA synagogue premises, enabling him to visit neighbouring communities during the year, including St. Johns Wood Synagogue, which has been the home of the successive Chief Rabbis who have resided in the vicinity.

Arrangements have been concluded to the effect that he will occupy the pulpit at WMA on two Shabbatot each month as well as on certain festivals.  These arrangements, which will commence with effect from 1st May 2004, will involve no additional pastoral responsibilities to that community and will not impact on his duties as Chief Rabbi or his ability to spend Shabbat with other communities, from time-to-time, as he has done since assuming office.  WMA will ensure that the additional ecclesiastical services required by that community are provided.

Over the coming months the Chief Rabbi will be discussing with the Honorary Officers of St. Johns Wood arrangements for a suitable occasion when he will be able to thank the St. Johns Wood community for the honour and respect accorded to him and for the friendships that he has enjoyed over the last 12 years that the community has hosted him and to a continuation of which he looks forward.

For more information on the Chief Rabbi, visit