Rabbi Mark Goldsmith
Rabbi Mark Goldsmith is Senior Rabbi at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue. Before joining EHRS in 2019, Mark served Alyth Synagogue in Golders Green from his appointment as Principal Rabbi in 2006, Finchley Progressive Synagogue from 1999-2006 and Woodford Progressive Synagogue from 1996-1999. He gained Semichah (rabbinic ordination) from Leo Baeck College in London where he is now lecturer in Jewish Life Cycle and Homiletics. He was Chair of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis UK from 2011-2013 and Chair of the Rabbinic Conference of Liberal Judaism from 2004-2006.
Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers
Rabbi Debbie grew up down the road in Radlett, and attending RSY’s Shemesh every summer. She went to university as far away from a Jewish community as she could find, in Lancaster, where she majored in Religious Studies, focussing on Hinduism and Judaism. She ended up running the JSoc, setting up a 5 way dialogue society and half way through her studies realised what many others had suggested years before, that she wanted to be a Rabbi. After working as Student Fieldworker for RSGB, studying at The European Centre for Jewish Studies in Stockholm and working for the Council of Christians & Jews, she began her studies at Leo Baeck College, where today she is a lecturer on Religion and Dialogue. She is a regular broadcaster on Radio 2’s Pause For Thought, and frequent guest on BBC Radio London and BBC 3 Counties Radio (where she previously hosted the Sunday morning breakfast show). At the end of 2021 she became a trustee of Faith for the Climate working to empower faith communities in their work on climate change.
Rabbi Mati Kirschenbaum
Rabbi Mati was born in Wroclaw, a city in South-West Poland, to a family that hide their Jewishness due to post-war antisemitism in this country. Mati reclaimed his family’s Jewish heritage in his teens, becoming an active member of the Jewish community in Warsaw, where he studied international economics. Mati’s communal engagement motivated him to choose a career of a Jewish professional; while at university he worked as a coordinator of a training programme for Polish Jewish community activists.
Rabbi Roberta Harris-Eckstein
Rabbi Roberta Harris-Eckstein joined the EHRS Rabbinic Team as an Interim Rabbi in 2020. Rabbi Roberta gained Semichah from Leo Baeck College in 2018 after her distinguished career as teacher of Bible, Hebrew and history. She is a specialist in pastoral care of the elderly.
Although she may not get too much time for hobbies these days, Roberta still teaches Biblical Hebrew, including for the Leo Baeck College Lehrhaus online. Her husband, Jeremy, is immensely supportive and has encouraged her right through the five years of rabbinic study.
Her main rabbinic work with EHRS was to ensure that our pastoral care is of excellent quality and responsiveness as well as accompanying our families in their life cycle events, especially bereavements. She brings her teaching to the community in adult education and in our services and shiurim.
Emeritus Rabbi Daniel Smith
Rabbi Daniel Smith was the Senior Minister at Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue (previously with Edgware & District Reform Synagogue since 1993). Daniel studied Philosophy and Psychology at Keele University and then qualified as a psychotherapist. He was the founding Chairman of the Raphael Centre – a Jewish counselling service.
Rabbi Smith retired in the Summer of 2019.
Emeritus Rabbi Steven Katz
Rabbi Steven Katz was ordained, by his father, Rabbi Dr. Arthur Katz, at a Leo Baeck College ceremony at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in 1975. Later that year, he was inducted as Associate Rabbi at Hendon Reform Synagogue, again by his father. Soon after this, Dr Katz suffered a serious car accident and so, shortly after his ordination, Rabbi Steven undertook the burden of running the religious side of the synagogue single handed. Although doubtless traumatic, it obviously succeeded.
Rabbi Katz retired in early 2019.