Masorti chief executive steps down after a decade

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Masorti chief executive steps down after a decade

Pursuing new chapter in the charity sector, Matt Plen says he's proud of "helping Masorti become a place where people can find a meaningful religious experience"

Matt Plen, Credit: Masorti UK
Matt Plen, Credit: Masorti UK

The chief executive of Masorti Judaism UK is stepping down after 10 years in the role.

Matt Plen is moving on to “new challenges in the charity sector” after being involved in the movement since the age of 19.

Masorti Judaism UK co-chairs Leonie Fleischmann and Moira Hart said the organisation “has gone from strength to strength during Matt’s tenure. Most notably, he established a rabbinic training fund which has so far supported seven student rabbis, relaunched Marom (Masorti students and young adults), and worked with rabbis and lay leaders to adopt same-sex marriage and improve LGBT+ inclusion across our communities. He led Masorti Judaism through the most challenging years of the Covid pandemic. We wish Matt the best of luck as he moves on to new challenges in the charity sector.”

Rachel Sklan, credit: Masorti UK

Plen told Jewish News his Masorti career highlights include “creating a culture of high level Jewish learning, developing young people as Jewishly-literate educational leaders, and helping Masorti become a place where people can find a meaningful religious experience”.

He said he is proud to have helped “recruit our first female rabbis and normalising the place of women in our rabbinical team.”

Successor Rachel Sklan has been working as the organisation’s deputy chief executive for the past three years. Praising her as “an experienced Jewish educator, coach and trainer”, Plen told Jewish News he “can’t think of anyone better to take on the role.”

Sklan was previously the director of Noam, the Masorti youth movement and is a founding member of the Havurah, a new, experimental Masorti community in north London.

She said: “I am energised by the future of Masorti Judaism. I love our movement’s deep commitment to our tradition and our quest to honour and integrate it into our lives as progressive people. The future of the Jewish community will hinge on our ability to innovate, teach, and inspire the next generation. I am privileged to step forward, lead this organisation and help make this happen.”

Saying they were “enormously grateful to Matt for his dedicated and inspiring leadership over the last decade”, Fleischmann and Hart added that they had long admired Sklan’s commitment to Masorti Judaism.

They said: “She has been at the centre of our movement’s success, developing young people through Noam, training our community leaders, and establishing new communities and innovative social action programmes. Her relationship-centred ethos and expertise in community-building makes her the perfect candidate to lead Masorti Judaism into the future.”

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