Chief Rabbi’s Court Deems Blackpool Area Unsuitable For New Jews

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

In an apparent snub to the young Rabbi at St Annes’ Hebrew Congregation, the Office of Chief Rabbi for the United Kingdom has effectively excluded Blackpool and its surrounding district or area for purposes of encouraging conversion to Judaism.

Rabbi R Simon, on behalf of the London Beth Din, the Court of the Chief Rabbi, wrote: “… we are generally able to consider conversion applications only from those living in an area with a vibrant, supportive and observant Jewish community.”

Simon went on to explain: “… while paying tribute to the efforts and achievements of [the] local Jewish community, Blackpool and environs cannot (presently) offer the necessary religious exposure of this sort.

Rabbi Ephraim J. Guttentag, who together with his wife Malki and children took up the post in St Annes at Rosh Hashanah 2014, previously worked at Hale Synagogue for four years supporting Rabbi Portnoy. Rabbi Guttentag is also currently chaplain to the Jewish Student Union at Salford University.

Rabbi Simon is the Gerut Coordinator for the London Beth Din, the Court Chief Rabbi’s office located in London.