New Rabbi Inducted at Cockfosters & N Southgate Synagogue
Date Uploaded: 
Thursday 12th February 2015

On Sunday 8 February, over 450 community members, dignitaries and guests were in attendance as Rabbi Daniel Epstein was officially inducted into office as Rabbi of the Cockfosters and N Southgate Synagogue (“CNSS”) by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at a special ceremony. After a welcome from Synagogue Chairperson Mrs Rosalind Goulden, the service was conducted by Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld singing together with the CNSS Choir, under the direction of Mr. Michael Morris. Rabbi Epstein succeeds Rabbi Yisroel Fine, who led the community for 27 years and retired at the end of 2013 and together with Rebbetzen Ilana Epstein have been in the post since June 2014.

Rabbi Epstein (left) with Chief Rabbi Mirvis

In his address, the Chief Rabbi paid tribute to the huge amount of work the rabbinic couple have already done to encourage the younger families to engage in Synagogue life through innovative programmes and wonderful home hospitality.

Rabbi Epstein responded to the community by saying that he and Rebbetzen Ilana were fully aware of the challenges they faced and pledged to make Cockfosters and N Southgate Synagogue not only more appealing to those who were already engaged with community life, but to attract more people from the wider Southgate community who were not yet involved. As an addition to the formal programme, their four children then read out an endearing letter of support to their parents and thanked the community for making them feel so welcome.

United Synagogue president Stephen Pack, also a member of CNSS and Hadley Wood Jewish Community, welcomed the new Rabbi and Rebbetzen and pledged that the United Synagogue would place its resources at their disposal to assist them in building the community for the future.

Rabbi Epstein and Rebbetzen Ilana moved back to the UK with their children, sons Stephen, Yoel and Jacob and daughter Odelle, after living in Israel for the past 16 years. Following a career that began in marketing, public relations and strategic communications, Rabbi Epstein gained semicha in Israel and this is his first communal Rabbinic position.

The event was also attended by esteemed Rabbonim, both from other United Synagogue communities, as well as from further afield. Also in attendance were Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz, Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and brother of Rebbetzen Ilana; past United Synagogue presidents, Mr Peter Sheldon and Mr Simon Hochhauser; the Mayor of Enfield Councillor Ali Bakir and Mr Nick de Bois MP for Enfield North.

Rabbi Epstein with the Honorary Officers

CG Rabbi Title: