IT is a rare and joyous event when a rabbi is inducted into his synagogue by his father, but that is what unfolded at Mizrachi Synagogue this week, with Rabbi Danny Mirvis receiving a blessing from his high-profile father, Commonwealth Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.
Tuesday night’s (August 30) induction was watched by a capacity gathering of congregants and supporters, with closed-circuit TV piping the proceedings to overflow audience members at Mizrachi.
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who first visited Australia as chief rabbi last year, was here on a 28-hour flying visit from Britain with his wife Valerie Mirvis, to take part in the service.
“The opportunity to induct my son, Rabbi Danny, into office at such a vibrant, wonderful community is both a great privilege as Chief Rabbi and an extremely proud moment for Valerie and me as parents,” Rabbi Mirvis senior said in a statement.
“We extend our blessings and warm wishes to Rabbi Danny and [his wife] Althea and the entire Mizrachi Organisation as it commences an exciting new chapter in its ongoing success story.”
In his acceptance speech, the younger Rabbi Mirvis pledged to lead the congregation with strength and vision, sharing some of his insights into future developments at the shul.
He told The AJN: “Althea and I have immensely enjoyed our first year at Mizrachi and we look forward to forging even stronger bonds with the community in our new roles.
“It is a tremendous privilege to have my parents here for this special occasion, and to be inducted into office by my father and rabbinic mentor. I am honoured to be following in the footsteps of esteemed predecessors, and am excited to lead Mizrachi in the next stage of its proud history.”
Rabbi Danny Mirvis returned from studies in Israel last year and became the shul’s -scholar-in-residence, before being strongly endorsed by a rabbinic search committee and by a ballot of congregants as Mizrachi’s rabbi.
Mizrachi president Danny Lamm told The AJN, “We’ve appointed young leadership with Rabbi Danny and Rebbetzin Althea to reflect our interest in the younger members of the community and we envisage a period of exponential growth that is tied in with the energy of youth.
“We are honoured with the presence of Chief Rabbi Ephraim and Mrs Valerie Mirvis and are particularly excited to be associated with the induction of Rabbi Mirvis by his father, a rare event for most communities.”