Belmont United Synagogue appoints new rabbinic couple over Shabbat UK
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Belmont United Synagogue appoints new rabbinic couple over Shabbat UK

The Millunchicks replace Rabbi Marc and Rebbetzen Lisa Levene who are leaving Belmont this summer to become the Senior Rabbinic Couple at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue

Belmont United Synagogue has announced the appointment of Rabbi Sam and Rebbetzen Leat Millunchick as the community’s new rabbinic couple.

The Millunchicks spent last Shabbat in Belmont with the community and were then voted in by an overwhelming majority.

The Millunchicks replace Rabbi Marc and Rebbetzen Lisa Levene who are leaving Belmont this summer to become the Senior Rabbinic Couple at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue. The Millunchicks are expected to take up their new position at the end of August.

Rabbi Sam Millunchick, originally from Chicago, made Aliyah from London where he worked as youth director, with his wife Leat, at South Hampstead United Synagogue, as informal educator at Hasmonean High School and as head of informal Jewish education at Immanuel College.

He holds a BA in philosophy and psychology, and earned semicha – rabbinic ordination – from the Montefiore College in London, in conjunction with Eretz Hemdah Institute of Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, as well as from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Sam is currently a rabbinic fellow in Eretz Hemdah working towards his advanced semicha certification from the Chief Rabbinate, as well as his master’s at Bar Ilan in the field of “Science and Halacha”. During his Israel Defence Forces active duty, Sam served in the Givati brigade as combat medic, and is active in the same role in Miluim.

Rebbetzen Leat holds a BA in criminology and sociology, and is a graduate of the Susi Bradfield Leadership Course at LSJS, as well as Machon Puah and the Eden Centre. Previously, Leat was the head of informal education at Hasmonean High School. Leat is an accomplished doula and childbirth educator, and is passionate about nurturing healthy and sustainable family life. “As a rabbinic couple, they strive to help each person further along their own unique journey,” a statement from United Synagogue said.

They live with their five children, Motti, Chen, Oz, Roni, and Shani in Ma’ale Adumim.
Rabbi and Rebbetzen Millunchick said: “The kehilla in Belmont is warm and caring, which was exactly what we were looking for in a rabbinic post. It feels to us like a match made in heaven.

“We are eager to start – on our Shabbat visit we formed so many relationships that we’ll miss over the next few months as we tie things up in Israel. Belmont is in a wonderful position to continue to grow from strength to strength, with an eruv, reasonably-priced housing and vibrant Jewish life on its doorstep.

“We hope that whilst we are there, Belmont can lead the way in presenting an attractive and committed vision of Jewish life in the modern world, matched with unparalleled inclusivity.

“Over and above anything else though, our main goal is to care for each and every member of Belmont shul on a personal level, serving and helping them in any way we can.”

Barbara Mazliah, Chair of Belmont United Synagogue, said: “The Belmont community is delighted to welcome Rabbi Sam and Leat Millunchick as its new Rabbinic Couple.

“Their commitment, enthusiasm and care will complement perfectly the spirit of Belmont and we look forward to their spiritual leadership and guidance in the years to come.

“I’d like to thank the members of our Selection Committee for their hard work during the recruitment process and the United Synagogue for their advice and guidance.”

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