Daniel Lowe – LubavitchUK.com
Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation has appointed Rabbi Reuven Leigh and his wife Rochel as the synagogue’s rabbi and rebbetzin.
The couple moved to Cambridge six year ago to establish Chabad at Cambridge University serving Jewish students.
“When we arrived,” explains Rabbi Leigh, “we quickly found ourselves intimately involved with the local Jewish community.”
The Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation – which describes itself as “an orthodox but independent and unaffiliated community” – has never had a resident rabbi.
“We are delighted to appoint Reuven Leigh as our new rabbi,” says Prof. Simon Goldhill, chairman of the Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation and fellow of King’s College.
“Our congregation has never had a rabbi in this way before, and we are really looking forward to the growth of the community. For us, it was crucial that we were appointing someone whom we know well and who knows us. It is a very exciting time for us all.”
As well as providing students with an accessible and engaging Jewish atmosphere on campus, the Leighs run a variety of educational services in the community, such as Ganeinu Child Care Service for Jewish children aged 2-4 years and Cambridge Hebrew Shool which, in the space of just one year, has attracted over 30 pupils between the ages of 2-12.
There are also plans underway to build the city’s first mikvah to cater for the growing number of young professional and academic families establishing homes in the city.
“We have a very positive relationship with the various Jewish communal bodies in Cambridge and they appreciate the capacity we have to reach the widest possible range of people,” says Rabbi Leigh.
The synagogue attracts members from the city’s small Jewish population and is supplemented by a large number of university members.