A rabbi who studied chemistry before working in PR and a rebbetzin who qualified as a French pastry chef before working in interior design are to join Western Marble Arch Synagogue as the new senior rabbinic couple next year.
Rabbi Daniel Epstein, a Londoner, and Rebbetzin Ilana Epstein, a New Yorker, will take over from Rabbi Lionel and Natalie Rosenfeld in the spring. After more than 25 years at the shul, they returning to Israel to retire early next year.
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Epstein, who have four children, have served Cockfosters and N Southgate United Synagogue since 2014, and Marble Arch Synagogue’s president Michael Ziff said “they stood out” during the recruitment process.
A JFS Governor and Holocaust educator, Rabbi Epstein’s many interests include interfaith dialogue, raising awareness about mental ill health, and Jewish genealogy, while Rebbetzin Epstein’s passions include art, Judaica, and food, with her famous Shabbat table hospitality widely celebrated.
“We are thrilled to announce their appointment,” said Ziff. “Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, we received many applications… The Epsteins stood out in a crowded field. We cannot wait to welcome them to our community.”
He added that Rabbi Lionel and Natalie Rosenfeld “worked incredibly hard for the community, brought us great kudos and fulfilled the synagogue’s spiritual and pastoral needs”, saying the shul “benefited from Rabbi Lionel’s chazanut and interpretation of the prayers and Torah readings, which made our synagogue services internationally renowned”.
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