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 Christian Jews, she began her studies at Leo Baeck College, where today she is a lecturer on Religion and Dialogue.
She wrote her final thesis on What women have done with Niddah, and is known for her creative Mikveh liturgies. She is also co-chair of the Mikveh Project UK’s education and liturgy group. She received semichah in 2009 and was part of the Rabbinic team at WLS until 2013, when she joined Reform Judaism as their Community Educator, where among other things she produced a new National curriculum for conversion courses. She has been published in several books ranging from interfaith topics to liturgy. She is a regular broadcaster on Radio 2’s Pause for Thought, news reviews on BBC London and BBC 3 Counties Radio (where she recently hosted the Sunday Breakfast for a year).
She is married to Gary (who is a rabbi in his own right, qualified to answer questions on kashrut) and they are tired parents to Eliana, 7, and Michah, 4.