If you look at the "Our Rabbis" page on the website of the United Kingdom's United Synagogue, you'll find people with the personal titles "Rabbi" or "Reverend," and with the organizational roles "Rabbi" or "Minister." (I'm leaving out Dayanim on the London Beth Din.)

What are the differences between a rabbi and a reverend, and what are the differences between a congregation's Rabbi and its Minister? Am I dividing these concepts up correctly?

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    It was used as a title in America also (There was a Rev. Shifrin who was the head of Agudas Chassidei Chabad in America until he passed away in the 1940s. Feb 27, 2012 at 5:01
  • @ShmuelBrin, in the US, it was more of a practicality than a formal title. My grandfather ז”ל, a chazzan, used it for legal purposes, as it afforded certain privileges such as lower property taxes and phonebook perks. Nov 4, 2015 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


Reverand is a title for people who act as Rabbis but lack Smicha.

See Wikipedia

(I know it's not a good source, but I heard the same from other places.)


My understanding was that a Reverend is a person who works as a "Pulpit Rabbi", being in charge of a congregation and caring for their life cycle events. However, such a person is not qualified for complicated halachic rulings, and should not be consulted on non-lifecycle or Shul related questions.

I have no source other than my own limited exposure to the terms.

  • This is my understanding from folks I know who grew up in fromm communities in the UK. Nov 4, 2015 at 19:30

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