A central role

CENTRAL Synagogue’s new president Danny Taibel (pictured) says he is taking charge at a time when the shul is going “from strength to strength”.

Taibel, who has a long history of involvement with Jewish communal organisations, was elected unopposed at an annual general meeting last month, after serving as vice-president for the past two years and as treasurer before that.

Taibel told The AJN he has a “great love” for the synagogue.

“The shul is a magnificent synagogue, there’s no doubt about that. But as beautiful as a shul is, a shul needs the right neshama [soul], and I believe that Central does have that,” he said.

“I think that is one of the most amazing things about Central Synagogue, that it’s a warm and welcoming environment, and even thought it’s such a large community with 1850 members, it actually feels like a small community.”

Taibel said he would concentrate on ensuring the shul ran in a fiscally responsible manner, and that day-to-day operations were efficient.

“But at the end of the day, it’s a matter of really supporting the clergy and supporting the staff, to be able to make sure that we have outstanding programs and we have our services for the benefit of the entire community,” he said.

Taibel said he wanted to ensure the shul remained a place where both members and non-members felt welcome.

“The shul does have a very beautiful ruach [spirit], I think it’s very important that the shul is a warm and welcoming place where people really feel that’s it’s a home away from home,” he said. “That’s being led by our Rabbi and Rebbetzin Chani and Levi Wolff.”

Taibel praised the shul’s spiritual team, including rabbis, cantors and choir, as being great strengths. He said another strength was having youth movement Hineni on the premises.

“It has an incredible amount of programs for our youth and gives the shul a link to the State of Israel which is very important,” he said.

Also full of praise for the synagogue’s board of management, Taibel said he was very optimistic about the future of the shul.

“I really believe that we’re moving forward and really are going from strength to strength,” he said.

“When I go to shul and I see people in the community I only really hear the best of things about our shul. It’s a synagogue that I’m extremely, extremely proud to lead.”

GARETH NARUNSKY