A SENIOR Rabbi has no reason to fear for the future of his congregation - as he has handed the reins over to his son after 43 years of hard work.
Aaron Goldstein, 38, succeeded Dr Andrew Goldstein, 65, as Senior Rabbi of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) in Oaklands Gate, Northwood, on Saturday.
As Senior Rabbi, Aaron has set out a new mission for the synagogue to continue its phenomenal growth of recent years by creating a welcoming atmosphere for all, including young families and non-Jewish partners.
He said: "It's all about creating a sacred community. As Jews, there is a sense of awe in the fact we are here and have been here for thousands of years and we will be for many more. It connects us throughout time, and that is an amazing thing."
At the service on Saturday Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles was inducted as the congregation's Assistant Rabbi, and Andrew Goldstein became Rabbi Emeritus.
The ceremony was conducted by Rabbi Dr Sidney Brichto, himself a member of NPLS, who inducted Andrew when he became the congregation's first fully-qualified Rabbi in 1970.
Father-of-two Andrew, a former Haydon School pupil, said: "I'm really proud of what my father has achieved at NPLS, but I also need to make my own mark.
"In the past my mother has set up and run the synagogue's social care network, my sister leads the choir and runs a play-group, while my brother-in-law has managed the security rota. As the congregation grows we can no longer treat NPLS as the family business.
"I aim to spread responsibility far wider across the community, while drawing in new members from a wide variety of backgrounds."
Rabbi Andrew, of Hallowell Road, Northwood, said: "I am immensely proud at what we have achieved here in Northwood, and to see Aaron take over as our Senior Rabbi is a dream fulfilled. I wish him every success."
Under Andrew's guidance and, since 2005, that of his son as Assistant Rabbi, NPLS has become the largest Liberal Jewish congregation in Britain with about 1,200 members and 400 child members.