THERE were tears and laughter at Newton Mearns Synagogue on Sunday as the congregation held a farewell mincha service, reception and dinner.
Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis was due to have addressed the congregation at the service, but he and his wife Lady Mirvis were stuck on a plane for four hours due to the cold weather in London.
However, he arrived in time to address and meet those gathered at the reception, before having to head back to the airport.
Sir Ephraim, talking of the new Giffnock Newton Mearns congregation as a wonderful entity, said: “Basically this has been a shidduch, and shidduchim are not easy to arrange. You are talking about hundreds of people in each community, each with a different view.
“You have the right priorities and I admire the members of both communities. You came into this with a feeling of goodwill.
“We recognise that the decision that was taken was a correct and responsible one, but that has meant a sacrifice for the members of Newton Mearns.
“The Giffnock Newton Mearns community will keep Newton Mearns alive, but just in a different guise — but it is still a very deep sacrifice. I want to thank the members of Newton Mearns for your heroism.
“I have no doubt that this courageous and wise decision will enable the community to thrive and will bring the Almighty into your midst in a way you hadn’t felt before.
“I am in awe of what you have achieved here.”
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