Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis came back from his first visit to Australia and New Zealand.

Despite much better weather than back home, it was no holiday for the chief, with 51 speeches, 24 synagogues and several internal flights across a territory spanning over 3,200 miles.

The trip down under saw him meet Jewish leaders in Sydney, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne, Wellington and Auckland, visiting care homes, schools and community centres.

“Community building is central to my Chief Rabbinate,” he said. “I have been delighted to have the opportunity to engage personally with Australian and New Zealand Jewry, two great Commonwealth communities.

“Valerie and I were impressed by the vitality and moved by the warmth that met us wherever we went.”

Rabbi James Kennard, Principle of Mount Scopus Memorial College in Melbourne, said: “We were inspired by the Chief Rabbi’s words and messages, and greatly appreciated his ability to instantly make strong connections with each organisation and individual that he met. Melbourne is already looking forward to the next visit.”