KD pupils’ surprise guest after email tells Chief about virtues of school

SURPRISE GUEST: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis with King David High School pupils, headteacher Michael Sutton, deputy headteacher October Wright, chair of governors Michelle Hayward, chair of primary school governors Lauren Lesin-Davis and teachers Rabbi Yochanan Pereira and Tzivia Brown. Below, headgirl Hannah Ging makes a presentation to the Chief Rabbi

CHIEF Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis made a surprise visit to King David High School.

The school had emailed the Chief extolling the virtues of the Yiddishkeit across the school and the development of the ‘King David Way’.

The email also bemoaned the perception of Liverpool as “the forgotten middle child” of the British Jewish community.

“It has been really difficult keeping this one quiet,” said deputy headteacher October Wright.

“We only informed the pupils four days before his visit.”

Pupils listened intently as the Chief Rabbi relayed the story of Alfred Nobel who, due to a case of mistaken identity, read his own obituary in a newspaper.

Rabbi Mirvis explained that it was Alfred’s brother, Ludvig, who had died.

The obituary disconcerted Nobel and made him apprehensive about how he would be remembered. This inspired him to change his will and thus the Nobel Prize was born.

The Chief Rabbi reminded pupils that we should learn lessons from this and ensure that we use our time for good.

Rabbi Mirvis said kindness, compassion and respect are the essential Jewish attributes.

He said how proud he was of King David as an “outstanding school” and how the High School is an example to other Jewish secondary schools.

Headteacher Michael Sutton said: “To receive such public recognition from the Chief Rabbi is a wonderful tribute to the hard work and dedication of King David staff and pupils”

Jewish pupils were treated to a questions and answers session with the Chief Rabbi.

Tamara Peiser asked him how he could reconcile a belief in God with the suffering we see in the world.

The Chief Rabbi admitted that he too had difficulty with this idea, but commented that it is often through these moments of suffering that we are able to truly understand the depth of our blessings.

Topics ranged from antisemitism to Jewish identity.

“It was a truly memorable day,” Mrs Wright said. “We are delighted that the Chief Rabbi knew so much about our school prior to his visit.

“Although his recognition of our school as a centre of academic excellence is wonderful, we are particularly delighted that he highlighted King David High School as a truly unique and exceptional Jewish community.”

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