Rabbi Alex Chapper appointed as new BES Rabbi
12 April 2019 – Rabbi Alex Chapper has been appointed as Rabbi of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue (BES) following a community vote. He was unanimously recommended for the role by the Rabbinic Selection Committee and the Synagogue Council.
Rabbi Chapper joined BES in April 2017 as Community Rabbi with responsibility for continuing the development of BES@Yavneh. As the most senior member of the BES Rabbinic team, Rabbi Chapper will now have responsibility for shaping and leading the next stage of the entire community’s development alongside the BES lay leadership.
In the two years since moving to Borehamwood, Rabbi Chapper and his wife Eva have made a significant impact in all areas of community life. These have included initiating several education programmes, including the Whatsapp broadcast Daily Halacha Live, the Shabbat-based J-Live, a weekly Chaburah, the Jewish concepts series J-Knowledge, Movies & Morals for secondary school students, and BASE – a motzei Shabbat learning programme for primary school children and their parents.
Rabbi Chapper said: “Eva and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to now lead BES. Part of my vision for the future of this already vibrant and dynamic community is for it to develop into a truly seven-day a week community with a broad range of educational, social and cultural activities.
“Conscious of our size and growth, we will strive to ensure that every member counts and is provided with multiple access points to communal involvement. I’m passionate about innovation that inspires people to greater religious commitment and deeper knowledge, and have ambitious plans to further develop our IT – interactive Torah – offering that utilises technology to deliver educational content as well as niche programming that’s tailor-made to different demographic groups.
“We will also be developing and enhancing the religious provision for women with a fully integrated women’s programme, as well as a youth and young people’s programme, calendar of Israel-related events and social action programme.
“I’m look forward to leading the Rabbinic team and working together with the fantastic lay leadership to deliver our shared vision for the future of BES.”
BES Chair, Simon Mitchell, added: “I’m so delighted we have appointed Rabbi Chapper as Rabbi of BES. Since moving here two years ago, he has demonstrated his ability to blend world-class pastoral work with innovative programming and education. The warmth of reaction to his appointment, from across the community, has been overwhelming and I look forward to working with Rabbi Chapper to implement many of his fantastic new ideas, and to deliver a shared vision for the BES community.
“With Rabbi Chapper at the helm, and with our ambitious plans to recruit a full Rabbinic team to work alongside him, the future looks bright for BES!”
The community will now be working on recruiting a new full-time Community Rabbi for BES who will have responsibility for BES@Yavneh. This person will work alongside Rabbi Chapper and Rabbi Yaakov Finn, as well as with a female educator, community scholars and rebbetzen(s) that BES is recruiting.