Rabbinical Profiles(1)(2)
Masorti, Reform and Liberal(3)
Part 5 - S to Z

Rabbi Thomas Salamon

Czech-born Rabbi Salamon was ordained in 1972. He served as assistant minister of the West London Synagogue (1972-1975), minister of Hertsmere Progressive Synagogue (now The Liberal Synagogue Elstree) (c.1980-c.1988), minister of the Hampstead Reform Jewish Community (c.1988-c.1990) and senior minister of Westminster Synagogue (1997-2018). (Profile on Westminster Synagogue's website and Jewish Year Book listings.)

Rabbi Dr. Georg Salzberger

See under The Belsize Square Synagogue (formerly the New Liberal Jewish Congregation).

Rabbi Harold Irving Saperstein
(9 Dec 1910 - 16 Nov 2001)

New York born Rabbi Saperstein was ordained in 1935. He served as Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarahthe minister of Temple Emanu-El of Lynbrook, Long Island (1933 to 1980, initailly as a student rabbi), during which time he spent short periods as an assisting rabbi at the West London Synagogue (1957, 1980-81, 1982-83) and later assisted other synagogues in the New York area.

Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah

Rabbi Sarah was ordained in 1989. She served as minister of Buckhurst Hill Reform Synagogue (now Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue) (1989-1994), rabbi of Leicester Progressive Jewish Community (1998-2000) and minister of Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue (2000 to present - December 2018). (Rabbi Sarah's profile on Liberal Judaism's website, accessed 6 December 2018.)

Rev Ernest Konrad Sawady
(27 Feb 1916 - 14 Aug 1956)

Rev. Sawady arrived in England from Berlin as a refugee from Nazi Germany. He obtained a BA in Psychology from the University of London and was minister of the St. George's Settlement Synagogue (1946-1956), dying suddenly in office while in Austria. (Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History, p.866, Obituary in AJR Information, September 1956, p. 9 and Jewish Year Book listings)

Rabbi Hermann Schreiber
(21 Aug 1882 - 27 Sep 1954)

Rabbi Schrieber, who was born in the former German town of Schrimm (now Śrim in Poland), served as rabbi in Potsdam until 1938, when his syangogue was destroyed during Kristallnacht. In 1939, after being held in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, he managed to flee to London and was an assisting rabbi at the West London Synagogue (1941). He is buried at the Jewish Weissensee Cemetery in Berlin, having died during a visit to Germany.

Rabbi Dr. Solomon Meyer Schiller-Szenessy
(1820 - 11 Mar 1890)

Rabbi Dr. Solomon Meyer Schiller-Szenessy was born in Altofen, Budapest and received a Ph.D from the University of Jena before studying to become a rabbi. He was a Hungarian nationalist and supported Kossuth in the 1848 uprising agianst Austrian rule (adopting the Magyar name Szrenessy), was captured, sentenced to death, but escaped to England via Ireland. In 1851, he was appointed minister of the recently re-united orthodox synagogue in Manchester, the Manchester United Synagogue. However, he came into conflict with Chief Rabbi N. Adler, and in 1856, although remaining traditional orthodox, he accepted the appointment as minister of Manchester's newly-formed reform synagogue, the Manchester Congregation of British Jews, resigning in 1860 to pursue an academic career in Cambridge, where he died in 1890. (Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History, p.873 and The Manchester Congregation of British Jews 1857-1957 by Rabbi P.S. Goldberg, 1957.)

Rabbi Robert Franklin Shafritz
(23 Oct 1944 - 23 Jul 1996)

US-born Rabbi Shafritz served as associate minister of the West London Synagogue (1987-1993) and minister of Wimbledon & District Synagogue (1993-1996) dying in office, aged 51.

Rabbi Sybil Sheridan

Bolton-born Rabbi Sheridan, who was ordained in 1981, served as rabbi / minister in a number of congregations, including Beersheva Reform Synagogue in Israel; Newcastle Reform Synagogue (as a student rabbi from 1980 to c.1981); Ealing Liberal Synagogue (1981-86); Thames Valley Jewish Community (now known as the Reading Liberal Jewish Community (1994-2003); as a joint minister (with Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild) of Wimbledon & District Synagogue (2002-2014); again, as rabbi (part-time) of Newcastle Reform Synagogue (2014 to present - February 2019); and as rabbi (part-time) of the West London Synagogue (2014 to present - February 2019). She i smarried to Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Romain of Maidenhead Synagogue. (Profile on Reform Judaism website and "Who's Who" entries in Jewish Year Books.)

Rabbi Sheila Shulman
(18 Oct 1936 - 25 Oct 2014)

Brooklyn-born Rabbi Shulman was ordained in 1989, being one of the first two lesbian rabbis to be ordained in the United Kingdom. She was the founder of London's gay and lesbian synagogue, Beit Klal Yisrael Synagogue (BKYS) and served as its rabbi from 1990 until about 2007 and was thereafter its emeritus rabbi until about 2011. She also served as a rabbi at Finchley Reform Synagogue (c.2000-c.2005, initially part-time, then as half-time Associate Rabbi, then part-time again). (Jewish Year Book listings, Biography - LGBTQ Religious Archives Network and tributes to Rabbi Shulman on BKYS's website)

Rabbi Dr. Reuven (Robert) Malcolm Silverman

Oxford-born Rabbi Dr. Silverman served as minister of Mikeve Israel Emanuel Synagogue, Curacao (1969-1971), an assisting rabbi at the West London Synagogue (1974), assistant minister of Edgware & District Reform Synagogue (1974-1977) and minister of Manchester Reform Synagogue (c.1977 to present - February 2019). (Manchester Reform Synagogue website, Jewish Year Book listings and "Who's Who" entries ).

The Rev. Vivian George Simmons
(16 Sep 1886 - 4 Jan 1970)

Salford-born Rev. Simmons served as assistant minister of the West London Synagogue (1913-1942, included four years as an army chaplain during World War I) and subsequently served as interim minister of North-Western Reform Synagogue, Golders Green (1942-1943) and as minister of Birmingham Liberal Jewish Synagogue (1943-1948), North London Progressive Synagogue (1948-1956) and Wembley & District Liberal Synagogue (now Mosaic Liberal Synagogue (1956-1961). (Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History and Jewish Year Book listings)

M. Simons

See under Ealing Liberal Synagogue.

Rabbi Amnon Daniel Smith

Israel-born Rabbi Smith, M.A. was ordained in 1977. He served as associate minister of the West London Synagogue (1977-1982), minister of Wimbledon & District Synagogue (1982-1993) and as a senior minister of Edgware & District Reform Synagogue (1993-2015), continuing in such capacity following the merger of that congregation to form the Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue (2015 to present - February 2019). (Listings and "Who's Who" entries in Jewish Year Books and profile on the website of the Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue.)

Rabbi Dr. Frank Dabba Smith

California-born Rabbi Smith received his rabbinic ordination from the Leo Baeck College, London. He served as assistant rabbi of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (1994-1997) and then as minister of Mosaic Liberal Synagogue (formerly Harrow & Wembley Progressive Synagogue) (1997 to present - March 2019). (Jewish Year Book listings and Mosaic Liberal Synagogue's website.)

Rabbi David Soetendorp

Rabbi Soetendorp served as minister for over thirty years at the Bournmouth Reform Synagogue (1972-2005) and, following his retirement, was appointed part-time minister of Hatch End Masorti Synagogue (now the Mosaic Masorti Synagogue) (2007-2008).

Rabbi Frederick Solomon (previously known as Dr Frederick K. “Fritz” Solomonski)

See under West Central Liberal Jewish Synagogue.

Rabbi Mark L. Solomon

Australian-born Rabbi Solomon studied for the rabbinate at the Lubavitcher Yeshivah Gedolah in Melbourne and Kfar Chabad in Israel, then at Sydney University (earning as BA (Hons) in English). He came to Britain in 1988 to study at Jews’ College, London, where he received smicha in 1991 and served as minister of Watford Affiliated (United) Synagogue (1990-1992). He then moved from Orthodoxy to Liberal Judaism and received an MA in Jewish Studies at Leo Baeck College, where he subsequently taught. He has served as minister/rabbi of West Central Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London (1992-2000), The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John’s Wood (2000-2009), Sukkat Shalom - the Edinburgh Liberal Community Synagogue (part-time, 2009 to present - May 2019), Manchester Liberal Jewish Community (part time, 2010-2014), Leicester Liberal Jewish Congregation (part-time 2014 to present - May 2019 (Profile on Liberal Judaism's website and Jewish Year Books listings.)

S. Solomons

S. Solomons's was assistant minister of North London Liberal Synagogue in about 1947/48 and was also chairman of the congregation from about 1938 to about 1947. It appears to have subsequently served as minister of Southgate & District Liberal Synagogue (now Southgate Progressive Synagogue) (c.1948-c.1956). (Jewish Year Book listings.)

Rabbi Michael D. Standfield

Rabbi Standfield was ordained in 1968. He served as minister of the St. George's Settlement Synagogue (1968-1971), the Middlesex New Synagogue (now the Mosaic Reform Synagogue) (1971-1986) and then congregations in Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa from 1989 until his retirement in 2005, when he returned to the UK and has acted as part time minister of the Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation (c.2011-14). (Rabbi Standfield's profile and Jewish Year Book listings.)

Rabbi Benjamin (Benji) Stanley

London-born Rabbi Stanley was ordained in 2013. He served as assistant rabbi of the West London Synagogue (2013-2014), "Rabbi for Young Adults" at Reform Judaism (2014-17) and minister of the Westminster Synagogue (2017 to present - February 2019).

Rabbi Dr. Solomon Elihu Starrels
(5 Dec 1895 - Apr 1984)

US-born Rabbi Dr. Starrels studied at the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnetti and served congregations in New Orleans, Louisiana and Lincoln, Nebraska, prior to being appointed  "third minister" of The Liberal Jewish Synaggogue, St John's Woods (1928-1933). He then served as minister of North Western Reform Synagogue (1933-1938) and assisted greatly in the establishment of the West Central Liberal Jewish Congregation, frequently leading the services. He returned to the US in 1938 to serve as minister of several U.S. congregations. (Jewish Year Book Listings and A Place to Call Home by Pam Fox, 2011.)

Rabbi Chaim Stern
(1930 - 2001)

New York born Rabbi Stern MA studied at the New York branch of the Hebrew Union College and was ordained in 1958. He served as rabbi of Temple Shalom, New Jersey (1958-1962) and several other United States congregations. In 1962, he was appointed as associate minister of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St. John's Wood, London, becoming acting senior minister in 1963 until 1964 and was subsequently associate rabbi of the Westminster Synagogue (c.1967-c.1968). ("A place to Call My Jewish Home" by Pam Fox, 2011, p415. Jewish Year Books listings and Jewish Virtual Library obituary.)


Cantor Marshall Stone

Cantor Stone served as minister of Woodford Liberal Jewish Synagogue (c.1980-c.1983) and Congregation Beyt Elohim (c.1986-c.1988). (Jewish Year Books listings)

Rabbi Celia Surget

See under Radlett Reform Synagogue.

Rabbi Dr. Jacqueline (Jackie) Tabick 

Dublin-born Rabbi Jacqueline Tabick, the wife of Rabbi Larry Tabick, was ordained as Britain's first female rabbi in 1975. She served as associate minister of the West London Synagogue (1975-1999), minister of North West Surrey Synagogue, Weybridge (1998-2013) and as part-time (temporary) minister of South West Essex & Settlement Reform Synagogue (2015-16) and has lead the Shabbat and Festival services at London's West Central Liberal Jewish Synagogue since at least early 2017 until present (May 2019). (Websites of North West Surrey and West Central Liberal Jewish Synagogues.)

Rabbi Larry Alan Tabick

American-born Rabbi Tabick, BA, MA, FLBC, the husband of Rabbi Jacqueline Tabick, was ordained in 1976. He served as rabbi of Shir Hayim - Hampstead Reform Jewish Community (1976-81, 1990 to December 2017), as assistant minister of Middlesex New Synagogue, now Mosaic Reform Synagogue (1981-86), as associate minister of Edgware & District Reform Synagogue (1986-1990), as an assisting rabbi at the West London Synagogue (1990) and as part-time rabbi of Leicester Progressive Jewish Community (1994-98). ("Who's Who" entries, listings in Jewish Year Books, Shir Hayim's website and twitter account.)

Rabbi Roni Tabick

Rabbi Tabick MA, the son of Rabbi Larry Tabick and Rabbi Jacqueline Tabick, was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, in 2015. He has served as rabbi of New Stoke Newington Shul (2015 until present - March 2019) and was an Assistant Rabbi of the New North London Synagogue (2015 until about January 2019). Rabbi Tabick holds a masters degree in Ancient Judaism from Oxford University. (Biography on New Stoke Newington Shul's website, data formerly on New North London's synagogues's website and press reports.)

Rabbi Pete Tobias

Rabbi Tobias was ordained in 1990 by Leo Baeck College. He served as minister to the Birmingham Progressive Synagogue and the Glasgow New (Reform) Synagogue and subsequently minister of The Liberal Synagogue Elstree (2003 to present - March 2019) (Jewish Year Book listings and The Liberal Synagogue Elstree's website.)

Rabbi André Ungar

Hungarian-born Rabbi Ungar served as assistant minister of the West London Synagogue (1952-1955) and was then appointed minister of the Temple Israel congregation in Port Elizabeth, South Africa but was expelled in 1956 by the South African authorities for his decrying of apartheid. He then served as minister of the St. Georges Settlement Synagogue (1956-1957). (Jewish Year Book listing, Jewish Standard press report 19 February 2010 and biography)

Rabbi Werner Van Der Zyl
(11 Sep 1902 - 10 Apr 1984)

German-born Rabbi Van der Zyl was ordained in 1933 and had been rabbi of two congregations in Berlin prior seeking refuge in Britain. He served as senior minister of North Western Reform Synagogue, Alyth Gardens, Golders Green (1943-1958) and as senior minister of the West London Synagogue (1958-1968).

Rabbi Kath Vardi

See under North West Surrey Synagogue.

Rabbi Erlene Wahlhaus

See under Sha'arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue (formerly Southgate and District Reform Synagogue).

Rabbi Lee Wax

Rabbi Wax served as a self-employed rabbi for a number of congregation (1994-2015), including Buckhurst Hill Reform Synagogue (now Sukkat Shalom Reform Synagogue) (c.1995-c.1996) and Finchley Reform Synagogue (2002-2005)

Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman

US-born Rabbi Weiman-Kelman was ordained in 1979. He was as assisting rabbi at the West London Synagogue (1981-1982) and subsequently moved to Israel and founded Jerusalem's Kehilat Kol Haneshama in 1985.

Rabbi Chaim Weiner

Rabbi Weiner was ordained in 1989 from the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem. He was National Director of NOAM in Israel for three years (1988-1991) before becoming minister of Edgware Masorti Synagogue (1991-1998). He then followed Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs as Rabbi of the New London Synagogue (2000-2005). (Profile formerly on New London Synagogue's website.)

Rabbi David Wilford

See under The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John's Wood, London.

Rabbi Mark Winer

Rabbi Winer, MBE, PhD, DD, (b. 1942, Utah), was ordained in 1970 and served as a congregational rabbi for some thirty years in the United States (Connecticut and New York State), becoming rabbi emeritus of Kol Ami Congregation, White Plains, New York in 1998. He then moved to London and to serve as senior minister of the West London Synagogue (1998-2010).

Rabbi William Wolff

Rabbi Wolf (b. 1927, Berlin) escaped with his family to Amsterdam in 1933 and then to London in 1939. He was ordained in 1984 and served as associate rabbi of the West London Synagogue (1984-1986). He subsequently served as rabbi / minister at Newcastle Reform Synagogue (1986-90), Milton Keynes & District Reform Synagogue (1990-1993), Reading Liberal Jewish Community, Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue (1993-1997) and Wimbledon & District Synagogue (1997-2002). In 2002, he returned to work in Germany with that country's growing Jewish community.

Cantor Tamara Wolfson

New York born Cantor Wolson received her cantorial ordination in May 2018. She serves as cantor of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) and as spritual leader of Kehilla North London (formerly North London Progressive Jewish Community), Stoke Newington (in both instances from July 2018 to present - March 2019). (NPLS's and Kehilla North London's website.)

Rabbi Alexandra Wright

Rabbi Wright, who studied at Exeter University and initially trained as a teacher, was ordained at Leo Baeck College in 1986. She had served initially as an associate minister of The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St. John's Wood, London (1986-1989) and was subsequently the minister of Radlett & Bushey Reform Synagogue (now Radlett Reform Synagogue) (1990-2003) before returning to The Liberal Jewish Synagogue to assume the position of Senior Minister of that congregation (March 2004 to present - May 2019). ("A Place to Call My Jewish Home", 2011 by Pam Fox, pp.183-4 and Rabbi Wright's profile on The Liberal Jewish Synagogue's website, last accessed 23 May 2019.)

Cantor Cheryl Wunch

See under North Western Reform Synagogue.

Rabbi Roderick Young

Rabbi Young (born 1960, Salisbury), who had been raised as a Christain, only discovering his Jewish identity at the age of 23, was ordained in 1999. He served as a rabbi at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, New York, minister of Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation, assistant rabbi of the West London Synagogue (2004-2006) and senior rabbi of Finchley Reform Synagogue (c.2006-c.2008). (Biography and Interview.)

Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers

Rabbi Young-Somers was ordained in 2009 and served as a rabbi at the West London Synagogue (2009-2013). She is curently (February 2019) the Community Educator at The Movement for Reform Judaism.

Rabbi David J. Zucker

US-born Rabbi Zucker was ordained in 1970. He served as rabbi of Bradford Reform Synagogue (1970-72) and Birmingham Progressive Synagogue (1972-79) before returning to the United States in 1979, where he served as rabbi or chaplain to a number of congregations and communities until retiring in 2011. He returned briefly to the UK to take up the interim postion of minister of the North West Surrey Synagogue (2013-2017). ("Our History" on North West Surrey's website and Rabbi Zucker's website, both accessed 17 December 2018.)

Footnotes    (returns to main text)

  1. Except as regards the West London Synagogue (for which the profiles of all its ministers are listed in this section), profiles of those rabbinical leaders who served at only one UK congregation can be found in the list and footnote relating to such rabbinical leader on the JCR-UK webpage for the congregation in which he or she served.

  2. Additional biographical information can be found in the source or sources shown in parenthesis following each profile. These were also the primary, but not necessarily the sole, source of the data provided in the profile.

  3. The period of office and position held by each minister of the West London Synagogue have been kindly provided to JCR-UK by the West London Synagogue. The webpage Ministers of the West London Synagogue includes, in most instances, a photograph of each such minister.

Other Non-Orthodox Rabbinical Profiles:

A to D;    E to H;    I to L;    M to R.

Researched and formatted by David Shulman

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Latest revision or update: 23 May 2019

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