Ephraim Mirvis is an Orthodox rabbi from South Africa. He currently serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. He served as the Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1985 and 1992. Moreover, he has also supported the expansion of women’s roles in Orthodox Judaism. In the year 2012, he appointed Lauren Levin as Britain’s first Orthodox female halakhic adviser, at Finchley Shul in London. He also supports Shabbat prayer groups for Orthodox women, saying, “Some of our congregations have women prayer groups for Friday night, some Saturday mornings. This is without women reading from the Torah. But for women to come together as a group to pray, this is a good thing.”
- For serving the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
- Best-known to have acted with great conviction in areas that are controversial or politically sensitive.
UK chief rabbi accuses Facebook and Twitter of ‘complicity’ in anti-Semitism
Recently, he has accused Twitter and Facebook of lacking “responsible leadership” in their response to antisemitic posts by grime artist Wiley. Moreover, he said he would join politicians, celebrities, and other high-profile figures in a 48-hour boycott of the social media sites from Monday. The two platforms have been heavily criticized for their slow response to Wiley’s posts, with Twitter accused of “ignoring antisemitism” as his tweets were still visible 12 hours after they were first posted. “For too long, social media has been a safe space for those who peddle hatred and prejudice,” Mirvis wrote in letters sent to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is Jewish. “Free speech is an essential cornerstone of any civilized society, but when it is used to incite hatred and violence against others, social media companies have a responsibility to act and must do so without delay,” he wrote. “Over the next two days, many people around the world, including myself, will be suspending their social media activity in protest against the woeful lack of responsible leadership from companies including Twitter and Facebook,” Mirvis continued.
What is the Birthplace of Ephraim Mirvis?
Born in the year 1956, Ephraim Mirvis’s birthplace/hometown is in Johannesburg, South Africa. His nationality is English and his ethnicity is Mixed. His race is White and his religion is Judaism. As of 2020, he celebrated his 64th birthday. He was born to his parents; Lionel (father) and Freida Mirvis (mother). His father was the Rabbi of the Claremont and the Wynberg Hebrew Congregations in Cape Town whereas his mother was the principal of the Athlone teacher training college, which was then the country’s sole college for training black pre-school teachers. His grandfather, Lazar Mirvis, was a Jewish Minister in Johannesburg. Talking about his education, he went to Herzlia High School in Cape Town from 1968 to 1973 and later studied at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh from 1973 to 1976 and Yeshivat Har Etzion, in the West Bank Israeli settlement of Alon Shvut, from 1976 to 1978. After that, he studied at Machon Ariel in Jerusalem from 1978 to 1980 and received his rabbinic ordination there. He also gained a BA in Education and Classical Hebrew from the University of South Africa and received certification from Yaakov Herzog Teachers College as a high school teacher in Israel. He has studied voice and Jewish cantorial music in Jerusalem and has also been certified as a shochet and mohel. His cousin is an American novelist, Tova Mirvis.
How was the Career of Ephraim Mirvis?
- Ephraim Mirvis’s career began when he was appointed Rabbi of Dublin’s Adelaide Road Synagogue in the year 1982 and Chief Rabbi of Ireland in the year 1985 till the year 1995.
- Moreover, he was the rabbi of the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in London from 1992 till 1996.
- He was appointed rabbi at the Finchley United Synagogue in the year 1996 of the month, May.
- Additionally, he also founded and directed the community-based, adult education program, the Kinloss Learning Centre.
- The program has drawn hundreds of participants on a weekly basis since 2003 and has served as an educational model emulated by other communities.
- He is the founder rabbi and honorary principal of Morasha Jewish Primary School and founder and President of the Kinloss Community Kollel.
- Besides this, he was Chairman of the Board of Governors of Stratford Jewish Schools, in Dublin, from the year 1984 to 1992.
- He has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Conference of European Rabbis since 1986
- He also arranged and hosted the Biennial Conference of European Rabbis at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in the year 1992.
- In the year 2001, he led the first group visit by United Synagogue rabbis to the USA.
- Since 1997, he has been the Religious Advisor to the Jewish Marriage Council where he served on the Council of the London School of Jewish Studies, on the Steering Committee of the Encounter Conference and the Singer’s Prayer Book Publications Committee.
- From the year 1999, he was Chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue till 2002.
- He served as the President of the Irish Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) from the year 1985 till 1992.
- Moreover, he was the first United Synagogue rabbi to host an address by an imam, Dr. Mohammed Essam El-Din Fahim, in his synagogue.
- He also launched the successful ‘In Good Faith’ program, in partnership with Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 2016.
- On 17th December 2012, he was named the successor to Jonathan, Lord Sacks as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and he took office on 1st September 2013.
- Laura Janner-Klausner, the head rabbi of the Movement for Reform Judaism in Great Britain, said: “I welcome the appointment of Mirvis as another powerful voice for British Jewry. I look forward to working closely with him as a partner on areas of common interests to the Jewish and wider community”.
- The Orthodox Union in the United States also welcomed his selection as the Chief Rabbi.
- In the year 2016, he launched a new qualification for female educators to be advisers on Jewish law in the area of family purity and as adult educators in Orthodox shuls.
- He also upholds the normative Orthodox Jewish positions that female rabbi and same-sex marriages are not permitted and issued a guide on the well-being of LGBT+ pupils in Orthodox Jewish schools in September 2018.
- He stated “Young LGBT+ people in the Jewish community often express feelings of deep isolation, loneliness, and a sense that they can never be themselves. Many are living with the fear that if they share their struggles with anyone they will be expelled, ridiculed, and even rejected by family and friends. They may even be struggling with a loss of Emunah (faith, trust in God) and the fear of losing their place of acceptance and belonging in the Jewish community.”
- He made an unprecedented intervention in British politics by stating in The Times that the Labour Party candidate Jeremy Corbyn was unfit for high office in late November 2019.
Ephraim Mirvis’s Awards and Achievements
Regarding the awards and achievements of Ephraim Mirvis, he attained the Jerusalem Prize for Education in the Diaspora in 1990, on behalf of the Stratford Jewish Schools, from the President of Israel, Chaim Herzog. He was awarded the Freedom of the London Borough of Barnet in 2015 and has also received Hon. Doctorates from Touro College and Middlesex University.
Who is Ephraim Mirvis’s married to?
Ephraim Mirvis is a married man. He married Zimbabwe-born Valerie Kaplan, in Israel. The duo is blessed with four sons namely Hillel, Daniel, Noam and Eitan, and twelve grandchildren. Sadly, their eldest child, Liora Graham, died of cancer in 2011. His wife, Valerie Kaplan was a front line Child Protection Social Worker until May 2012. She is a published author and healthcare specialist. As of today, the duo is enjoying their life a lot without any sign of divorce. His sexual orientation is straight.
How much is Ephraim Mirvis’s Net Worth?
Ephraim Mirvis is an Orthodox rabbi who serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. According to his profession, his net worth will be surely in millions. As per the source, Muslim imams’ salaries range from just £5,000 to £15,000 while Jewish rabbis are paid around £20,000 as are Church of England clergy, who also receive free accommodation. He is receiving a considerable salary from his work and he is satisfied with his earnings as of today.