Office Staff

Rabbi Andrew Shaw

Rabbi Andrew Shaw

CEO

Rabbi Shaw is no stranger to leadership and brings with him 15 years’ experience as Community Development Rabbi at Stanmore and Canons Park United Synagogue where he has been credited with transforming the local community’s work with its youth and young families. He has also been a leading figure in the United Synagogue’s central organisation for more than a decade and was the founder of Tribe as well as Director of the Living & Learning department. Rabbi Shaw lives in Edgware, where he runs a minyan at Edgware United Synagogue.

David Reuben

David Reuben

Director of Programming

David grew up in Birmingham & Whitefield, Manchester being educated in King David High School. After finishing school, he learnt in Yeshivat HaKotel in the Old City of Yerusahalayim before going on to University in Birmingham to study Marketing, Advertising and PR. Whilst at university he took a year away to work as the Svivot Fieldworker, community’s liaison for Bnei Akiva before completing his degree. Following his graduation David was elected as Mazkir & National Director of Bnei Akiva UK.

David is now the Director of Programming at Mizrachi UK taking responsibility for publications and major events ran throughout the year including the ‘Weekend of Inspiration’ and the annual Yom Yerushalayim trip to Jerusalem.

Talia Ezekiel

Talia Ezekiel

Director of Communications

Talia spent a year in Israel studying at Midreshet Harova before graduating from Birmingham City University with a degree in Forensic Computing. She then spent a year on the Bnei Akiva Mazkirut as the Israel Worker.

Lynn Shaw

Lynn Shaw

Office Manager

Lynn has spent the last 20 years working within the Jewish Community as an administrator and also as Clerk to Governors of 3 of the United Synagogue’s primary schools. For 9 years she worked alongside Rabbi Shaw as the Community Department Manager at Stanmore and Canons Park United Synagogue.

Shlichim

Rav Joel & Sarah Kenigsberg

Rav Joel & Sarah Kenigsberg

Hendon

Rav Joel and Sarah Kenigsberg, along with their two children, are the Mizrachi shlichim in Hendon. They arrived in the UK from Jerusalem in September 2018.

Rav Joel grew up in South Africa before making Aliyah and studying in Yeshivot for thirteen years. During this time he received his semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. At Yeshivat HaKotel, Rav Joel took part in the Hesder program of joint Yeshiva study and IDF service, he was also a shoel u’meishiv for the International students program. He then studied at Eretz Hemdah where he graduated from Manhigut Toranit – a five-year post-Semicha program developing Rabbinic leadership for communities around the world.

Rav Joel has a B.Ed from Lifshitz College of Education and a Master’s degree in Science and Halacha from Bar-Ilan University, both of which he completed with distinction. He takes a special interest in the interface of Halacha with the modern world and has written and presented extensively on this topic, including winning second prize for his presentation at the 24th annual conference of Halacha and Science under the auspices of Bar-Ilan, Yeshiva University and the Jerusalem College of Technology.

Sarah grew up in Manchester and made Aliyah after studying for a year in Midreshet Orot. She holds a Masters Degree (Cum laude) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Bar-Ilan University and worked for several years as an organic chemist at Merck, a renowned multinational biotech company. Sarah is a certified kallah teacher and underwent extensive training in communal leadership through the Manhigut Toranit program. She currently tutors sciences at Hasmonean High School, in addition to her and Rav Joel’s educational role within the wider Hendon community.

Rav Yehuda Peles

Rav Yehuda Peles

Manchester

Rav Peles studied in Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush) before completing his army service as a paratrooper in the IDF. He was previously the Head of Yavneh Girls in Manchester before moving back to Israel to be the Headmaster of a Girls High School in Tzfat. He has now returned to the UK as the Mizrachi Rav in Manchester, giving Shiurim in shuls, schools and to the entire community trying to form a proud kehilla, who is dedicated to learning Torah.

Rav Eliyahu & Jocheved Silverman

Rav Eliyahu & Jocheved Silverman

Edgware

Rav Eliyahu Silverman studied at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh for seven years and at Kollel Erez Hemda for four years, as part of the Torah Leadership program. He completed his Smicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and is completing his Advanced Smicha Certification (Rav Ir). During his service in the IDF he acted as a commander in the Givati brigade. With his focus also concentrating on the needs of others, he has completed a B.Ed. from Orot Israel specializing in Education and Hebrew language.

Rav Eliyahu and his family moved to London almost three years ago and are very involved in Hasmonean High School as well as Mizrachi UK work in Hendon and Edgware. In addition, he is the Rabbi of the Edgware Adath Youth Minyan.

Yocheved Silverman grew up in Switzerland. At the age of 18 she made Aliya and studied for a year in Midreshet Orot in Elkana. She has completed her B.Ed in Special Education through Givat Washington Collage in Yavneh. Since completing her degree, Yocheved has taught in Ulpanat Shalavim, a high school for girls. Almost three years ago she moved with her family to England and has been teaching Jewish studies and Hebrew Reading in Hasmonean High School. Yocheved and Rav Eliyahu have five very cute children.

Rav Moshe & Moria Gold

Rav Moshe & Moria Gold

Borehamwood

Rav Moshe learned for 10 years in the Hesder Yeshiva “Birkat Moshe” in Maale Edumin. During his time there he got his rabbinical Semicha and finished his BEd in Tanach and Gemara from Lifshitz College. He taught in the Yeshiva and finally finished his MEd in Biblical Studies in Herzog College and took some courses from Machon Puah, which specializes in Niddah and fertility problems.

Moria has a BSc from the Jewish College of Technology and worked as a computer programmer for 7 years.

Together they took a 3 years Shlichut preparation course and got certified to guide brides and grooms before their wedding.

They were the Av and Em Bayit (a guiding family) in a gap year Yeshiva in Jerusalem- Eretz Hatzvi, for two years.

Together with their 3 kids- David, Navah and Avigail they are now the rabbinical family for the youth in Borehamwood, they’re involved in the new Student Bet Midrash program and Rav Moshe also teaches Jewish Studies in Yavneh college.

Rav Moshe & Naama Vecht

Rav Moshe & Naama Vecht

Leeds

Naama and Moshe were both born and bred in Jerusalem, Israel. After high school, Moshe studied Torah at the Hesder Yeshiva in Otniel, and served as a tank commander in the IDF.

Naama spent two years of national service working with a community of Olim from Ethiopia, followed by two years of Torah study at Nishmat.

Moshe Studied teaching at the Herzog college, while studying at the Torat Yosef Kollel, and gaining Semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin.

Naama studied graphic design at the Emuna college in Jerusalem.

 

The Vechts now live in Leeds and serve as Mizrachi Shlichim and as youth directors for all three Shuls in Leeds.

Trustees

Steven Blumgart

Steven Blumgart

Chair of the Board

Steven is an investor and board member of a number of privately-held businesses. Until January 2012, he was Co-director of the aluminum division at Glencore International plc, one of the largest commodity trading firms in the world, valued at $40bn. Steven joined Swiss based Glencore in October 1998, where he served in the coal commodity department, responsible for its industrial assets, before moving to the aluminum division. Prior to joining Glencore, he worked for three years at Grant Thornton in Johannesburg. Steven completed his Bachelor of Commerce (Tax Honours) degree from the University of Witwatersrand, and is a South African Chartered Accountant. In addition, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Michelle Bauernfreund

Michelle Bauernfreund

Michelle works as Director of Operations at the Office of the Chief Rabbi. As well as being responsible for the operations and finances of the office, Michelle’s remit includes initiatives relating to women, such as the Ma’ayan Programme and Neshama. Previously, Michelle was Director of Operations at Mitzvah Day and worked as Public Affairs officer at the Board of Deputies.

In a lay capacity, Michelle was previously Chair of Alei Tzion synagogue for three years. Michelle is a graduate of the Adam Science Foundation Leadership Programme.

Matti Fruhman

Matti Fruhman

Matti has worked in several roles ranging from the rebirth of Jewish life in Europe and more recently in international development, implementing innovative social models across several countries in Asia. Currently, Matti is establishing his own travel platform, Azooki. He is also involved in several Holocaust related projects including Yom Hashoah UK and 70 Days for 70 Years within the Jewish community.

A Mancunian in exile, Matti holds a Masters degree in Operations Management from Manchester Business School and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).

Grant Kurland

Grant Kurland

Grant has been the Joint Chief Executive Officer of Bayport Management Limited since 2002. He serves as the Chief Executive at Bayport Financial Services Pty Ltd and serves as Chairman of Zambia Board. Grant co-founded Bayport Management (BML). He joined Nando’s in 1992, where he developed Nando’s franchises abroad, including several African countries. In 1999, he joined Credit Direct, a micro-credit operation. He was appointed the head of sales at African Bank and was responsible for designing its branch and mobile business models. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Bayport Botswana. He serves as Non-Executive Director of Bayport Financial Services 2010 (proprietary) Limited. He serves as an Executive Director of Tanzania and Non-Executive Director of Uganda. He has been an Executive Director of Bayport Management since 2009. He serves as a Non-Executive Director of Bayport Financial Services Pty Ltd. Mr. Kurland studied for three years towards a Bachelor in Business Science in Actuarial Science at UCT.

Lisa Lyons

Lisa Lyons

Sean Melnick

Sean Melnick

Sean is a founder and currently Non-Executive Chairman of Peregrine Holdings Limited. He is also Chairman of Stenham Limited, Peregrine’s international subsidiary. Sean has been primarily responsible for and integrally involved in the Peregrine Group’s expansion strategy from inception.

Sean began his career at Liberty Asset Management in 1992, where he headed up the Group’s derivatives desk and was a Senior Portfolio Manager before joining the derivative trading and structuring desk at Investec Bank Limited in 1995. Sean left Investec Bank in 1996 to co-found Peregrine, took on the role of Group Chief Executive Officer in 1997 and led the Group to its successful listing on the JSE in June 1998. Sean has spent a cumulative 11 years in the position of Peregrine Group Chief Executive Officer and a further eight years as either deputy Chairman or Chairman. A Chartered Financial Analyst, Sean holds an Honours degree in Commerce from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

David Morris

Sammy Rubin

Sammy Rubin

Sammy Rubin has been involved in setting up business and educational projects for many years. A graduate of Hasmonean, the Gush and Imperial College, he is married to Jamie and has three children. He is the founder of The Beit Midrash and The Midrasha and a trustee of the London School of Jewish Studies.

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