UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis arrived in Israel on Friday with a group of 175 British Jews in honor of the 70th birthday of the Jewish state. The mission is being organized by England’s United Synagogue.The United Synagogue trip is one of the largest British delegations to Israel from a UK charity in almost 20 years. The organization’s development director, Alan Aziz, said he had to turn people down because there were so many requests to attend.“I am delighted that the United Synagogue has taken so many people to Israel to celebrate its 70th anniversary,” Mirvis told The Jerusalem Post. “The centrality of Israel is a key element of our United Synagogue ethos, and the impressively large size of this group is a reflection of the strong connection that United Synagogue members feel towards Israel.”Aziz and United Synagogue events coordinator Ida Symons said this was their largest ever group, and the size was solely due to the incredible reach of the United Synagogue. Aziz and Symons gained a reputation for leading many well-organized, educational and affordable trips when they worked for the UK’s Zionist Federation and Jewish National Fund branch.Former Israeli ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub and other high-profile guests joined the group for Shabbat.Highlights of the trip include a tea reception at the British ambassador’s residence with envoy David Quarrey; a visit to Atlit to the south of Haifa; a meeting with Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau at the oldest synagogue in the city; a visit to the Western Wall for special prayers for fallen soldiers; a meeting at the President’s Residence; and a briefing by police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.