The Kenton Community were delighted to welcome the Chief Rabbi on Sunday afternoon to a celebratory Tea to mark Rabbi and Rebbetzin Black’s twenty years as Rabbinic couple in Kenton and their thirty second wedding Anniversary. The Kehilla were so fortunate that this was the Chief Rabbi’s second visit since last October when he attended a service to dedicate a new Bimah. Members treasure his visits because they are inspiring and value his words of wisdom, humour and reflections on the Torah.

Commenting on the idea of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Black’s pastoral qualities and how they are defined with their individual values their names Yehuda and Yehudit one of thanksgiving combined with the gematria of twenty. He said that we live in order to give and that he how we are defined and valued. Complimenting the Rabbinic couple on what they had achieved in their time with Kenton, The Chief Rabbi requested members to do something positive as a result of this special occasion and become more frum.

Around one hundred and thirty members and guests together with the Rabbi and Rebbetzin and their family had a wonderful afternoon of pure enjoyment, social chit chat and a sharing of happy memories.

In beginning this festive event Chairman Ruth Topper welcomed the Chief Rabbi and everyone present. Tehillim were said and thoughts were given to Israel and the plight of the hostages there. Past Chairman John Cooper who was Chairman at the time the Rabbinic couple were appointed spoke of the interview process and how the first few months progressed. Irene Leeman Past Chairman gave a flavour of what initiatives Rabbi and Rebbetzin Black had introduced in terms of learning activities during the week and Shabbat, the difficult time for the Community during the pandemic, Zoom programmes, Kabbalat Shabbat, and recently a Rosh Chodesh programme.

Rabbi Black then responded to the Chief Rabbi, John Cooper and Irene Leeman by speaking of the development of the community and his work with the families sharing their simchas and consoling and supporting them when they lost family members.

David Harris, Past Vice interviewed Rabbi and Rebbetzin Black which was extremely entertaining and wide ranging including how the Rabbi had decided to take up becoming one and what the Rebbetzin had envisaged in her role. Attention was given to their time in Staines and Newcastle and how the community in Kenton has changed. A Musical Interlude was provided by Robert Brody accompanied by Madeleine Whiteson performing Yiddish and French Songs. Madeleine performed a piano solo to celebrate the Rabbinic couple’s Wedding Anniversary.

Special thanks were given to the ReJEWvenate Committee led by Roy Block who did sterling work in preparation for the afternoon. In particular Irene Leeman who planned and organised the whole afternoon together with menu and table plan.

Such was the delight of the occasion that members and guests were reluctant to leave before taking the opportunity to wish Rabbi and Rebbetzin Black many more years in Kenton and Mazal Tov on their Wedding Anniversary.

By Rachelle Goldberg

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