Sinai Synagogue in Leeds was practically full to capacity, when a special service was held to mark the retirement of Rabbi Ian Morris after 21 years in post. Rabbi Morris and his family were called up to the Torah, and read the blessings, which brought a tear to the eye of many.
Brenda Dinsdale, representing the Board of Reform Judaism, made a presentation on behalf of the Board and gave a short address. She reminisced over a time when she had attended Northern Conference, shortly after Rabbi Morris’s arrival from Australia. She recalled how the stars in the navy blue sky sparkled like magic, and drew a parallel between that and the magic Rabbi Morris had brought to the community.
In his farewell speech, Rabbi Morris had likened Sinai to a beacon, leading the way in Reform Judaism, and she further developed this theme by suggesting that it was Rabbi Morris himself who was the beacon.
Drawing on her experience of special ‘retirement courses’ she passed on invaluable advice; “Never eat more that 3 tablespoons of cereal at breakfast” and “only eat bread with ‘bits’ in”. Much laughter ensued at that, especially when Rabbi Morris said he was unable to make that commitment.