Emmarentia Shul enters a new ‘young’ era

  • Emmarentia
Popular chazzan, Rev Rodney Richard, has been appointed spiritual leader of the Emmarentia Hebrew Congregation from February 1.
by JASON MORRIS | Jan 20, 2016

Pictured:  Rev Rodney Richard with his wife Wendy and children

Richard succeeds Rabbi Hirsch Rosenblum who is retiring after 37 years as spiritual leader of the congregation.

Rev Richard’s involvement in Jewish communal life began as a child chorister at the then Wolmarans Street Shul. He spent eight years at the Great Park Shul as ba’al tefilah, ba’al koreh and barmitzvah teacher. He joins Emmarentia Shul from Greenside Shul, where he spent the last 12 years fulfilling the various roles of ba’al koreh, choirmaster and chazzan along the way.

His wife, Wendy, a well-respected nursery school teacher, is excited about invigorating the children’s services at the shul and assisting the hard-working women of the ladies’ guild.

“My wife, and I are excited about this wonderful opportunity,” Rev Richard said. “We hope to work together with the community to build on the wonderful foundations laid by Rabbi and Rebbetzen Rosenblum.” Rev Richard and his wife have three children.

“Emmarentia Shul will continue to be a beacon of light for Jewish communal life in the north-western suburbs, and we are all excited about what the future holds,” says shul chairman, Jason Morris.

Morris told the SA Jewish Report that Rabbi Rosenblum, who is overseas at present, was highly regarded, very knowledgeable and had a large following.

“He has influenced a lot of younger people,” Morris said. Several of them have gone on to become rabbis, while others have become observant as a result of his work.

Emmarentia Shul will formally welcome Rev Richard and his family on the Shabbos of February 12/13 and is extending an invitation to the entire Jewish community to attend. On Saturday February 13, the shul will be hosting a luncheon. Anyone wishing to attend should contact the shul office on (011) 646-6138 or e-mail [email protected].


  1. 6 Jeffrey Wolmer 23 Jan
    Fond memories of spiritual influences of Rabbi Rosenblum and the Emmarentia community wishing Rabbi Rosenblum and family health and happiness in the future. 
    Rabbi Richard and family starting a new era wishing you a happy healthy and successful future in Emmarentia a great community
  2. 5 Jonni 23 Jan
    Wonderful news.We wish them Hatslacha Rabah in their  new roles. Emmarentia Shul has always been warm and welcoming and it's great to see that it has a strategy to continue to flourish after seeing a lot of members emigrate to Glenhazel and others pass away.
  3. 4 ROWAN BORACH 11 Apr
    Is Rodney Richard now (as spiritual leader) a Rabbi or not and if so can he perform orthodox marriage ceremonies?
  4. 3 Beverley Aronovsky 27 Oct
    Had my batmitzvah at Emmarentia Synagogue with a group of other girls from King David School, Victory Park in 1963.  My name was Beverley Tobiansky.  Any chance that the shul would have some photographs?

  5. 2 Beverley Aronovsky 27 Oct
    I had my batmitzvah with a group of girls from King David Primary School in 1963. My name at the time was Beverley Tobiansky.
    Any chance that the shul would have some photos in their archives?  I now live in San Diego, California and would love to show them to my grandson who is having his barmitzvah in a couple of weeks.  Thank you,
  6. 1 Rabbi Martyn Adelberg 07 May
    My wife Marcia and I have very fond memories of our relationship with Rabbi Rosenblum and his family when we lived there between 1979-1986. I was working on my doctorate on "Afrikaner-Jewish Relations."9


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