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Finchley's Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis takes up post as new chief rabbi
The leader of Finchley United Synagogue was installed as the new chief rabbi of the UK and Commonwealth yesterday.
More than one thousand guests including the Prince of Wales attended a ceremony to witness Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis officially take up the post as the eleventh chief rabbi of Britain and the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
The father-of-four succeeds Lord Jonathan Sacks who has held the post since 1991.
Speaking at the service at St John’s Wood Synagogue in Grove End Road, Rabbi Mirvis called for high quality Jewish education, the building and strengthening of Jewish communities and "acts of loving kindness".
He pledged to create “real unity” between the Jewish community and other faiths in Britain.
He said: "Within a society, when we respect differences and when we work together under the baton of co-operation, we can produce beautiful and marvellous harmony for our entire society."
The 56-year-old also spoke about progress being made in tackling anti-Semitism in Britain.
He said: “I'm proud of the fact that in our country the fight against anti-Semitism is being led by successive governments and parliament and that is because it is correctly recognised that a threat against the Jews is a threat against our society.”
Rabbi Mirvis was born in South Africa in 1956 and was a rabbi in Dublin before becoming Ireland's chief rabbi in 1985, a post he held until 1992.
He has four sons with his wife Valerie, a local authority senior social worker.
As well as Prince Charles, Labour leader Ed Miliband, former home secretary Michael Howard and the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales, were also among yesterday's congregation.
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