Over 600 Attend Emotional Farewell to Pinner US’ Rabbi Grunewald

Over 600 people attended the emotional farewell event held this weekend to mark and honour the retirement of Rabbi Yaakov Grunewald of Pinner United Synagogue.

He has served the Pinner community for the last 34 years. Hundreds of members past and present packed the hall for a special farewell brunch, along with friends and dignitaries from across the community.

Rabbi Grunewald was given two presentations – the first a computer and the second a certificate recording the decision of the Pinner Board of Management to recognise his unparralled leadership of the Pinner Community and appoint him as the Emeritus Rabbi of Pinner United Synagogue.

Speaking at the brunch, Howard Lewis, the synagogue's Chairman said: "It is truly a great honour to preside over this amazing afternoon event. We can rarely if ever have had such a large attendance at any Shul event – demonstrating the high esteem that our Rabbi is held in both the Pinner Community and throughout the United Synagogue."

"Your attention to pastoral care has been a major plank in your armoury as a Rabbi and I know many people who receive your phone calls and visits will miss you in the future. You have been an outstanding spiritual leader of the Community without at any time seeking personal honour for your achievements. You have undertaken so many different small and large tasks for the Community it would be impossible to mention them all. Thank you."

Other speakers at the brunch included Dr Simon Hochhhauser the United Synagogue’s President, the Worshipful Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Asad Omar as well as Ian Abraham who chaired the committee which chose Rabbi Grunewald to lead the community 34 years ago. The event was also attended by Stephen Fenton (US Trustee) and Jeremy Jacobs (US Chief Executive), Councillor Bill Stephenson the leader of Harrow Council and Councillor Richard Romain a member of the Conservative group on the Council.

During his address at the farewell event, Rabbi Grunewald said: "I came to this community, 34½ years ago, in great happiness and I am leaving it, with very many happy memories of the wonderful time that I spent here as Rabbi and Spiritual leader… I shall never forget the great moments in the life of this community…I am also very grateful to the Council of Management for conferring upon me the title of Emeritus Rabbi. I regard it as a great honour."

It was announced during the event that the testimonial fund, launched when the community was told of the Rabbi’s forthcoming retirement back in May, is still attracting gifts and will therefore remain open until the end of November.


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