ABOUT ME

My last position was as the Rabbi of Childwall Hebrew Congregation in Liverpool. I together with my wife Anna came in March 2016 for two years (which was extended to three years) to lead the community through transition resulting from plans to build a new synagogue building.

 

I have held a number of key positions in Diaspora Jewry as a Communal Rabbi for over 36 years, including as Rabbi of both Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities in the UK and Hong Kong. Since making Israel our home in 2010 I established Yiftach Consultants on community development and pastoral care. I take a very keen interest in relations between Israel and the Diaspora and especially in Israel Advocacy. I have spent a life time in helping individuals to build and strengthen their Jewish spiritual identity; and developing an expertise in community crisis management.

 

I was also the Senior Hospital Chaplain of the Visitation Committee; Rabbi of the Wembley United Synagogue, London; Rabbi of the former Withington Congregation of Spanish & Portuguese Jews, Manchester; Rabbi of Ohel Leah Synagogue, Hong Kong; Consultant Rabbi of Bevis Marks; a member of the Chief Rabbi’s Cabinet with responsibility for welfare issues; and Honorary Secretary of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue.

 

My academic achievements include Semicha from the Shehebar Sephardic Center, Jerusalem; B.Ed from Manchester Metropolitan University; MA (with merit) on Healthcare Chaplaincy from University of Leeds; PhD from Leeds Beckett University, on “A Critical Examination of Patient-Centred Spiritual Care from a Jewish Perspective: Implications for chaplaincy and spiritual care.”  In 1996 I was the last recepient of the Sir Whaley Cohen Scholarship with which I examined Jewish hospital chaplaincy in the United States.

 

I was born in Holland in 1952, brought up in Zimbabwe, and came to London in 1969 to study at the Judith, Lady Montefiore College.

 

I was editor of Hakshiva, a Rabbinic Journal of the Rabbinical Council of the Provinces; contributed to  “Spirituality in Health Care Contexts” edited by Helen Orchard. (Jessica Kingsley Publishers); and “Prayers for Healing” (US Visitation Committee).

 

I am married to Anna Leon. She was a civil servant at the Board of Trade International and a JP for the Middlesex area and the City of Manchester. We have two children - Abigail and Joshua, and nine grandchildren

EDUCATION

INTERESTS

The importance of spiritual-pastoral care

2015

PhD - Patient Centred Spiritual Care from a Jewish Perspective - Leeds Becket University

Israel - Diaspora relations

Israel Advocacy

Personal and community crisis resolution

2000

M.A (with merit) - Healthcare CHaplaincy

University of Leeds

1977

B.Ed - Manchester Metropolitan University

1983

Semicha - Shehebar Sephardi Centre

The Science & 

Mathematics University

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