The Chief Rabbi has led the first ever two-day study trip to Europe, accompanying 41 UK-based rabbis through the continent’s historic centres of Jewish life.
The group journeyed through France and Germany, visiting sites where renowned rabbis lived, learned and taught, and also met with community leaders.
Historian Rabbi Aubrey Hersh helped explain the background to sites in Worms, Frankfurt, Strasbourg and Metz.
In Worms, Germany, the group visited the graves of renowned scholars, including the Chavot Yair and the Maharam m’Rotenberg, before moving on to the nearby Rashi Shul and Museum, site of the reconstructed synagogue where the legendary 11th century rabbi and Talmudic commentator Rashi studied.
After a “moving” Mincha service in the synagogue where the Rokeach and Rav David Oppenheim also learned, they travelled to Frankfurt to the graves of scholars Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch and Rav Natan Adler.
In Strasbourg they met the local congregation, Synagogue de la Paix, for Shacharit, before taking breakfast with Chief Rabbi Harold Weill of Strasbourg, who reflected on the current state of the local Jewish community.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “Over these two days, we are walking in the footsteps of extraordinary spiritual leaders. It is now our opportunity to reflect the greatness of our past in our present and in our future.”
CR: "There is so much inspiration to draw from the extraordinary Rabbis who lived, learned & died here." Rabbis from across the UK have joined the Chief Rabbi for a study visit to Germany & France which began today at the Jewish Cemetery, Rashi Synagogue & old Ghetto in Worms. pic.twitter.com/Jr0xoK9Rqr
— Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) April 24, 2018