Newly-appointed Federation Rov and Av Beis Din, Rav Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, is already making his mark. Upon arrival this week in London, he has immediately embarked on a busy schedule of activities which reflect his commitment to working closely with the kehilloh on a personal level. Rav Zimmerman began by visiting new projects and meeting kehilloh members and leaders alike.
A large group has paid an emotional visit to Edmonton Federation Cemetery where they davened at the kevorim of gedolim and inspirational figures from the past. The trip to North London was organised by the Federation of Synagogues and follows on from the recent publication of a book of biographies of rabbonim and communal leaders buried at the beis olom, authored by Rebbetzin Aviva Landau. Dayan Y. Y. Lichtenstein, Rosh Beis Din, introduced the tour by explaining the crucial role which the Federation played in preserving the frum way of life for the East End immigrants who began arriving in their droves from the 1880s. Desperate to maintain their minhagim, they struggled to find shuls at which they felt at home, shechita which was acceptable, and jobs which allowed them to keep Shabbos. Often impoverished, they could not afford regular burial fees. The Federation cemetery was opened in 1890 as a response to this need, the first burial being of an eleven-month-old girl.