Whitefield Shul is silent over Guttentag’s future

GUTTENTAG: Introduced innovations to the shul

MYSTERY surrounds the futures of Whitefield Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag and Chazan Yossi Muller.

Shul president David Krebs refused to comment, but did describe it as a “private and sensitive issue at present”.

It is understood that the synagogue needs to cut costs and that membership has declined since Rabbi Guttentag became minister three decades ago due to migration of congregants — principally to Israel and also to Hale.

The synagogue accounts for 2016/17 showed one member of staff earning £60,000-£70,000 a year.

It is not the first time that Rabbi Guttentag’s future has been in question.

In 2009, the entire executive resigned in defeat after a power struggle over his role. A letter had been sent reportedly placing him on “gardening leave”.

However, a grassroots protest from shul members led to the resignation of the executive rather than the rabbi leaving. A year later, he was a strong contender to take on the role of Chief Rabbi after Lord Sacks retired.

Rabbi Guttentag has been responsible for innovations, including a groundbreaking kollel and two mikvot, one of which is for vessels.

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