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Induction of Rabbi Jonathan Hughes as Rabbi of Richmond United Synagogue
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Friday 13th June 2014

It was standing room only as over 200 members, family and friends, together with the Mayor and Leader of Richmond Council packed Richmond Synagogue for the induction of Rabbi Jonathan Hughes by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Chazzan Stephen Leas of Central Synagogue conducted the service, after Mincha led by Jon Katzauer, Chair of the Synagogue who also made the welcome speech, praising the impact made by Jonathan and Chana Hughes in their first 6 months.

The Chief Rabbi joked that it was likely to be the only time he would induct a Rabbi who had previously been a professional footballer with Reading and Swindon. He noted that Rabbi Hughes’ parents had met in Richmond and that he and his wife Chana, together with the Richmond community, which celebrates its centenary in 2016, were on a Jewish journey together. Richmond is a small Shul but, said the Chief Rabbi, it was quality rather than quantity and he particularly praised the way the Shul had conducted all services via its highly able members during the 18 months between rabbis. He also noted that over 1500 identified as Jews in the 2011 census; there was much to achieve.

Rabbi Hughes stressed the importance of rabbis listening to their members and the need to reach out and go the extra mile to bring in the many unaffiliated Jews in the area. He and Chana were thrilled by the welcome they had received and looked forward to growing the community.

Afterwards, Steve Levi of Oi Va Voi and friends entertained with lively Klezmer music during the tea.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis (Left) with Rabbi Jonny Hughes (Middle) and his wife Chana

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