After 34 years at the helm of the iconic Sydenham Shul of Johannesburg, the rabbi Yossy Goldman hands over to a young Chabad Shliach in South Africa – Rabbi Yehuda Stern Thursday. Full story, video
By COLlive reporter
This Thursday June 24/14 Tammuz, a historic transition will take place in Jewish community life in Johannesburg involving two famous Chabad Shluchim.
After several months of deliberation, Rabbi Yossy Goldman has decided to hand over the leadership of the iconic Sydenham Shul of Johannesburg, South Africa to his partner and chosen successor, the Rabbi Yehuda Stern.
During Rabbi Goldman’s 34-year tenure and under his exceptional leadership, Sydenham Shul became, in the words of the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Bags, “One of the great synagogues in the English-speaking world”.
But now, this senior Shliach and one of the most experienced and successful congregational rabbis in the world, believes it is imperative for the Shul to proactively plan for the future.
“A new generation needs new approaches, new ideas and even new blood,” says Rabbi Goldman.
Can a Shliach “Retire?”
“God forbid! Rabbi Goldman said. “I don’t retire to the coast to spend my life fishing. The word “retreat” did not appear in the vocabulary of the Rebbe. He insisted that life should always be useful, productive and meaningful. But I also believe that too many people in leadership positions prevent talented young leaders from taking their rightful place and growing their organizations. “
Indeed, he intends to continue working on new projects and to pursue the Shlichus as the Rabbi sent him and his Rebbetzin Rochel Goldman in South Africa for the return in 1976. He will not leave the Shul either. He has been appointed Rabbi Emeritus for Life and will always be involved and play an active role in the Shul and in the lives of its followers.
On a personal level, Rabbi Goldman hopes he will have more time to write and will also welcome the prospect of lecturing and accepting invitations to international conferences.
“I have had the privilege of working closely with Rabbi Goldman over the past 14 years and have learned a lot from him,” says Rabbi Stern. “I feel honored and thrilled to continue his incredible work as the spiritual leader of the Sydenham community. Our Shul has a rich history and I look forward to leading the Shul in the future.
“I have every confidence in Rabbi Yehuda Stern,” says Rabbi Goldman, “and I know he will grow our beloved Shul and help develop the next generation. I wish him and his Rebbetzin Estée ‘Mazel Tov’ this prestigious nomination. May they go stronger and stronger.
The event will be broadcast live on Zoom Thursday at 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time (7:45 p.m. South African Time)