British chief rabbi leading mega-mission

The chief rabbi of the United Kingdom,, arrived in Israel Friday to lead a mega-mission of 175 British Jews, in honor of the 70th birthday of the State of Israel, organized by England’s United Synagogue.

The United Synagogue’s Israel trip is one of the largest British delegations from a UK Charity in almost 20 years. The organization’s development director, Alan Aziz, said he had to turn people down because there were so many requests to attend.

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"I am delighted that the United Synagogue has taken so many people to Israel to celebrate its 70th Anniversary,” Mirvis told The Jerusalem Post. “The centrality of Israel is a key element of our United Synagogue ethos, and the impressively large size of this group is a reflection of the strong connection that United Synagogue members feel towards Israel.”

Aziz and United Synagogue events coordinator Ida Symons, who gained a reputation for leading many well organized, educational and affordable trips when they worked for the UK’s Zionist Federation and Jewish National Fund branch, said this was their largest ever group, and the size was solely due to the incredible reach of the United Synagogue.

Former Israel Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub and other high profile guests joined the mission for Shabbat.

The highlights of the trip include having a tea reception at the British Ambassador’s residence with British Ambassador David Quarrey, visiting Atlit, meeting the Tel Aviv chief rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau at the oldest synagogue in Tel Aviv, visiting the Western Wall for special prayers for fallen soldiers, a meeting at the President’s Residence, and a briefing by national police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.