Over the Yamim Noraim, six Rabbinic students and their wives currently in Yeshivot in Israel were given the opportunity to participate in the United Synagogue’s Rabbinic Internship Programme, giving them firsthand experience of life as a United Synagogue Rabbinic couple.
During the 13 day course, the Rabbinic couples were able to spend the High Holy Days in six different United Synagogue communities where they led services, delivered shiurim and held question and answer sessions.
The programme also allowed the couples to meet key leaders of the United Synagogue including the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, Dayanim of the London Beth Din and Chief Executive Jeremy Jacobs, enabling them to gain a through understanding of the United Synagogue and the Jewish community in the UK. The course also gave insights to the various programmes the United Synagogue has to offer with presentations from Tribe, Living & Learning, US Chesed and the Marriage departments, as well as spending two hours at Bushey cemetery learning about the importnace of the Burial department. The Rabbinic couples were also welcomed to JFS, where they took a tour of the school and ran workshops on Yom Kippur and Teshuva (repentance) with year 8 pupils.
Shua Bitton, a United Synagogue Rabbinic intern who went to Kenton United Synagogue commented:
“The Rabbinic Intern Programme provided me with a great opportunity to further my understanding of the United Synagogue and the role of a United Synagogue Rabbi. As part of the programme I spent the Yamim Noraim at Kenton United Synagogue where I had the opportunity to give an additional Shiur in between Mincha and Maariv on Rosh Hashanah. This was met with great success and allowed me to interact with more members of the community.”
Yitzchak Greenblatt, a United Synagogue Rabbinic intern who went to Ilford United Synagogue commented:
“I was placed at Ilford United Synagogue for the Yamim Noraim. There were about 700 people there and everyone was so welcoming to my wife and I. The programme has been intense and busy and it has been great to meet with the Dayanim, the Chief Rabbi, and to see how it all works behind the scenes of the United Synagogue.”
From left to right: Shua Bitton, Judith Bitton, Naomi Birnbaum, Eli Birnbaum, Rabbi Andrew Shaw, Yitzchak Greenblatt, Sarah Greenblatt, Kimberley Schwartz, Avi Schwartz, Ari Kayser, Gabby Kayser, Sarah Proops, James Proops