Norwich’s Jewish community praise first visit of a Chief Rabbi in half a century
- Credit: Archant
Norwich's Jewish community enjoyed a special visit by the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis paid a visit to the Norwich Synagogue, in Earlham Road, this evening.
It was the first time in about half a century that the Norwich Synagogue had hosted a visit from a Chief Rabbi, and Dr Marian Prinsley, president of the congregation, said it was a 'deep, deep honour.'
While at the Norwich Synagogue, Chief Rabbi Mirvis praised the local Jewish community. He said: 'I am so impressed with all the communities we have, and in Norwich we have a wonderful example of a relatively small community doing amazing things. I have been looking forward to coming along to tell them how impressed I am and meeting all the people because for me every person is important, not just every Jewish person, every human being.'
Speaking ahead of his address to the congregation, he said he would be reflecting on the historic day for the country as it was the day when Brexit was formally triggered and in effect when Britain redefined itself.
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He said: 'Are we part of a broader world or should we be focusing on the particular? Are we particular or are we universal?
'My message is that with Judaism we believe in the particular and the universal, we are proud of who we are and we have a role in the wider world.
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'It is not a question of either or, or of in or out. That is a strong message that I would like to give.'
Rev Daniel Rosenthal said the Chief Rabbi's visit was a 'very unique and special historical moment within our community.'
Dr Prinsley said: 'It is a deep, deep honour to have the Chief Rabbi visiting the congregation. He came for a community visit to meet the individuals that make up the congregation. It is very special for us and we would like to invite him back to open our new building when it is finished.'
The Norwich Hebrew Congregation is currently fundraising for a £385,000 project to revamp its communal hall and create a Jewish Community and Heritage Centre for Norwich.
Prior to Chief Rabbi Mirvis' visit, the last visit from a Chief Rabbi to Norwich was in 1969 when Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits came to see the congregation.