He will replace Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who is stepping down after holding the post since 1991.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
Mirvis, a well-known community rabbi in London, was chosen by the United Synagogue organization of London Jews.
The UK chief rabbi position has existed for the past 200 years and is one of the most highly regarded positions in the rabbinical world. The chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth is invited to attend all state ceremonies and is even knighted in accordance with his achievements.
South African-born Rabbi Mirvis served as the chief rabbi of Ireland and studied in a number of hesder yeshivot in Israel, where he obtained his rabbinical qualification.
Accepting the appointment, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis commented: “It is with enormous excitement and a profound sense of privilege that I accept this post. My wife, Valerie, and I are extremely moved by the warmth of the community’s support. I pay tribute to the current chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, who, with his unique gifts, has served British Jewry with distinction.
"In the coming years, I will seek to take our community to even greater heights through a deeper commitment to Jewish identity, values and learning. Our United Hebrew Congregations have outstanding Rabbis, and I will aim to empower and inspire them further to transform their synagogues into powerhouses of religious, educational, cultural and social activity.”
'Man of warmth and wisdom'
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks said, “It’s a terrific appointment. Rabbi Mirvis is a good friend and valued colleague, respected by the rabbinate and community alike. He is a man of warmth and wisdom who will excel in his new role. I wish him and Valerie blessings and best wishes in the great task ahead.”
Rabbi Yisroel Yaakov Lichtenstein, head of the Federation of Synagogues Beis Din (Jewish Court) in London and a member of the Rabbinical Center of Europe board, welcomed the appointment.
"I would like to congratulate the designated rabbi and wish him a good term as England's chief rabbi. I hope he uses his position for the sanctification of God's name. Rabbi Mirvis has succeeded greatly in his rabbinical jobs, and judging from his experience so far – he is in for an honorable future as the chief rabbi."
Rabbi Arye Goldberg, director deputy of the Rabbinical Center of Europe, said: "Rabbi Mirvis has acquired quite a reputation in England and outside England as a rabbi who can connect every Jew to the community and as a person who can find ways even to the hearts of those who are not close to the life of Torah and mitzvot.
"The appointment of such a person as the chief rabbi of England is good news for England's Jews and a great hope for the country's Jewry."