Rabbi Bassous denies he resigned from synagogue, threatens employment tribunal

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Rabbi Bassous denies he resigned from synagogue, threatens employment tribunal

Golders Green leader who led campaign against JW3's LGBT exhibition, says 'claims will flow' if Beth Hamedrash Knesset Yehezkel follows through with removing him on 11 February

Rabbi Aharon Bassous
Rabbi Aharon Bassous

An Orthodox Sephardi rabbi in Golders Green has threatened to take his synagogue’s trustees to an employment tribunal after denying that he had resigned.

Rabbi Aaron Bassous, who is due to leave Beth Hamedrash Knesset Yehezkel synagogue next week, has now written to the shul’s leadership, saying “claims will flow” if they remove him on 11 February.  

Bassous, who led a campaign targeting London community centre JW3 for its exhibition honouring LGBT+ Jews, has seen his increasingly fractious employment dispute with the synagogue’s leadership spill out into the public domain, with letters of support from congregants.

The relationship between the synagogue’s leadership and Bassous has become progressive fraught in recent years, Bassous resigning as a trustee in June 2019, to the point whereby it now appears that mutual trust and confidence has irrevocably broken down. 

In his most recent letter, Bassous denied resigning and said the dismissal of a rabbi could only be ordered by a Beth Din (Jewish religious court), adding that congregants “categorically confirm that they would like me to remain as rabbi”.

He said: “Any attempt to remove me will be against my wishes… Treating my employment as terminated will be a dismissal on the basis of which claims will flow in English law.”

Poster promoting Rabbi Bassous’ response

Trustees say the shul’s finances have been hit by the pandemic and wrote to congregants in December to say they were considering selling their new building to help steady the ship.

In a letter from trustees to Bassous, which was leaked on social media, they said he “had chosen not to engage in any of the several mediation offers proposed by different members of the community”.

They said Bassous had “explicitly stated you were resigning on three occasions” then tried to claim the resignations were invalid. In Bassous’s latest letter threatening legal action, he said he never gave “a valid and binding resignation”.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: