Jewish leaders who call national
self-determination a universal right are quite
comfortable denying it to Palestinians. When we
strip away the propaganda, lies and distortions,
most will agree that all people are equally
entitled to respect, dignity and justice,
regardless of their place of birth, religion,
color or political views.
Who is the chief rabbi and who does he
Ephraim Mirvis’ full title is chief rabbi
of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.
He heads, for starters, the United
Synagogue (US), which
represents 64 currently active congregations.
It’s the biggest Jewish denominational body
in the UK and the biggest organisation of
its kind in Europe.
The US is part of the wider modern or
“central” orthodox branch of Judaism, to
which 52% of all UK synagogue members
According to the US’ annual accounts for
of this organisation is about 38,660 – a
significant proportion of the hundreds of
thousands of Jewish people in the UK
(estimates are around the 290,000 mark).
Nonetheless, not all Jews recognize the
chief rabbi as their spiritual leader. The
chief rabbi does not represent those who
identify as Jewish but do not belong to a
synagogue. According to the Board of
Deputies of British Jews, the centuries-old
national advocacy group, approximately half
of all Jews in the UK fall under this