Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue (HGSS) has announced the appointment of Rabbi Luis and Jodie Herszaft as their new community rabbinic couple.
The Herszafts are expected to take up their new roles on 15 July, and will join the community with their two sons, Yehuda and Aharon.
Rabbi Luis Herszaft grew up in Edgware and has had a long-standing passion for communal work. From a young age he was involved in numerous Jewish organisations, particularly working with youth and young families.
He is currently finishing his studies in Israel as part of the Mizrachi UK Rabbinic Fellowship Programme, studying at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
He has also been a participant in Shalhevet, the leadership training programme of the World Mizrachi Movement, and is completing his Semicha through Mizrachi’s Musmachim programme.
Rabbi Herszaft is an accomplished musician, having studied music at university and he loves to combine music with his communal work.
Jodie Herszaft grew up in Bushey, attended the Royal Masonic School for Girls and then spent a year in Israel at Midreshet Tehillah Seminary.
She studied psychology at City University and recently completed her counselling diploma in Israel. Jodie is passionate about the need for female Jewish education and did the Matan and Mizrachi Lapidot Women’s Educator Training Programme, with further studies at other institutions in Jerusalem.
She has taught Jewish studies both formally and informally at Aish UK, Immanuel College and programmes in Israel, focusing on making Judaism relevant and engaging to young women today. She is currently working as part of the Tribe Israel Team, supporting gap year students in Israel.
The Herszafts said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be joining the HGSS Community and to be able to work together with both Rabbi and Lisa Levene and Chazan Avromi and Rochelle. We look forward to being part of such an exciting team to ensure the success and continued growth of such a vibrant community.”
Rabbi Marc Levene said: “Lisa and I are delighted at the appointment of Rabbi Luis and Jodie Herszaft to complete our Rabbinic team. Their energy and enthusiasm will ensure that, together with Chazan Avromi and Rochelle, we create a vibrant and loving community. It’s just a matter of weeks until we return back ‘home’, and with Hashem’s help, we look forward to many exciting times ahead.”
James Kaufmann, chairman of HGSS, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the Herszafts to HGSS and to our Rabbinic team. Their passion, warmth and energy were evident from the moment we met them and will be key ingredients to helping our community thrive over the coming years. Their appointment comes after they recently spent a Shabbat at HGSS and had a chance to understand the opportunities and challenges ahead. During their visit, they spent time with Rabbi Marc and Lisa Levene, and with Chazan Avromi and Rochelle Freilich. We know that all six members of our spiritual leadership team are excited to be working together and have what is required to inspire and lead HGSS now and into the future.”
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