The senior rabbi at one of the country’s biggest synagogues has taken a sudden and unexplained leave of absence, with the shul’s chair asking congregants to “respect his privacy”.
In a short letter to 4,000 members, Simon Mitchell, the chair of Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue (BES), said Rabbi Chaim Kanterovitz would be taking “a period of leave” but did not say why.
On Kanterovitz’s sudden leave, Mitchell told congregants: “We are working closely in consultation with United Synagogue directors and trustees to ensure a full rabbinic provision in his absence.”
Kanterovitz came to BES from Manchester, ending a two-year period when the shul found itself without a senior rabbi, following the departure of Rabbi Naftali Brawer, whose wife Dina this year became the UK’s first Orthodox rabbi.
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