Britain’s new chief rabbi sworn in

(JTA) — Britain’s new chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, was sworn in in the presence of the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles.

Some 1,400 guests were present at Sunday’s ceremony at St. John’s Wood Synagogue in north London, in which Mirvis was sworn in as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

He was sworn in with the participation of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who retired after 22 years in the position. It is the first time that a member of the royal family has attended such a ceremony.

Mirvis said he would work to enhance Jewish education, to build and strengthen Jewish communities and encourage social responsibility. He has said he will make uniting the different branches of Judaism a priority.

Mirvis, a native of South Africa, is the former chief rabbi of Ireland. He is the 11th Chief Rabbi since 1704.