Belmont Celebrates Induction
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Thursday 18th May 2017

Belmont United Synagogue gave a warm welcome last Shabbat to Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis for the induction of the shul's new minister, Rabbi Marc Levene.

The synagogue, adorned with pink and purple floral sprays, was full to capacity for the occasion. It was a double simcha for Belmont, coinciding with the shul's own 50th anniversary celebrations. Special guests included United Synagogue President Stephen Pack and Chief Executive Steven Wilson, along with Harrow Deputy Mayor Cllr Margaret Davine and Honorary Alderman Richard Romain.

Addressing the congregation, Chief Rabbi Mirvis said it was an "honour and privilege" to be there, adding that Belmont was "one of the most important communities" in the whole of the United Synagogue organisation. He paid fulsome tribute to Rabbi Levene, remarking how he was "naturally warm to everyone, and everyone is warm to you." Falling just days before the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, Chief Rabbi Mirvis gave a shiur on the importance of Jerusalem in Judaism, before a gala luncheon laid on by a great team of Belmont volunteers in honour of the day. Along with speeches reflecting on how the shul has flourished from its modest beginnings and high hopes held for its future, the audience was treated to a delightful rendition of a unique Shabbat song by the Levene's four daughters, Rachel, Miri, Ruthie and Rivka.

Rabbi Levene said he and Rebbetzen Lisa felt honoured to lead this most wonderful community, and already feel a part of the Belmont Family: “We have been embraced with warmth and friendship since we arrived in March, and are excited and proud to lead Belmont into its next 50 years.”

The couple were formerly Assistant Rabbi and Rebbetzen at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue. They take over from Belmont's former Rabbi, Elchonon Feldman, who has assumed the Rabbinical post at Bushey United Synagogue.