Meet Us

Our Rabbi

Rabbi Yuval Keren was born in Ashkelon, Israel. He later studied in an Orthodox Yeshivah and in a secular Kibbutz. He joined the Israeli army where he served in the prestigious Golani Brigade for three years. After his release from the army Rabbi Keren was the manager of two successful dairies, at Kibbutz Regavim and at the Reform Kibbutz Yahel.

He came to Britain in 1993 and qualified as a computer systems analyst at the University of the West of England. Following graduation he obtained employment as a management consultant with Deloitte & Touche, one of the most prestigious global accounting and management consulting firms.

Rabbi Keren began his studies at the Leo Baeck College in 2004. He obtained a first-class Bachelor's degree in Hebrew and Jewish Studies in 2007 and a Masters Degree with distinction in 2009. He received his Rabbinic ordination at the West London Synagogue in July 2009.

Joining Hendon Reform Synagogue in 2008 as a Student Rabbi he remained for another three years as a part of the Rabbinic team. Rabbi Keren has been serving our community since July 2012.

With a wide range and many years of Rabbinic, business and communications skills and experience Rabbi Keren provides spiritual leadership and support for our community. He promotes Jewish wisdom, encourages learning and supports our community members in good and bad times. He has a strong commitment to studying and teaching Judaism. Rabbi Keren is passionate about his homeland, Israel, and is a supporter of Israel and the efforts to bring together the hearts and minds of Israelis and Palestinians.

He is committed to the principles of Liberal Judaism, to modernity, equality, ethics and a greater involvement in the world around us. Since arriving in the UK in 1993, and during his Rabbinic years, he has been actively involved in Jewish education, community leadership, interfaith dialogue and pastoral care. His guiding principles as a Rabbi are the belief in God, and the application of religion with reason.

Rabbi Keren is married and has two children.

Leadership Team

Mark Shaw

Mark Shaw

Chair

I have lived locally all my life and am married to Michelle. We have a son and a daughter. We got married at SPS in 1984 and have celebrated a variety of life-cycle events within the community including our son’s barmitzvah and our daughter’s batmitzvah.

I first became involved in the community in 1991 and served on the social committee and then subsequently was elected on to Council. I served as hon treasurer between 1993 and 1999. After retiring from full-time work in 2019, I was co-opted back on to Council in February 2020 and joined the finance committee and was elected formally to Council at the 2020 AGM and subsequently appointed as vice-chair. I was elected as chair of SPS in June 2021.

Rachelle Ellenby

Rachelle Ellenby

Vice-Chair

I joined Southgate Progressive Synagogue following my marriage and move to the area. Since then we have celebrated many family events with the community, including my son and daughter’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah.

Growing up on the east side of town I had been very involved with my local Synagogue; teaching at the religion school, co-founding a youth club and a few other bits and pieces! It was a little while before I became active within SPS. It started following the birth of my son and daughter, when I became involved with the Shabbat children’s services and children’s activities on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For the last 9 years or so I have been a member of the Education Committee (I am currently chair) and for the last 7 have sat on Council. I have just been elected vice-chair for the second time.

Stephanie Marsh

Stephanie Marsh

Hon. Secretary

I have been a member of SPS for most of my life.  My parents joined the Synagogue in 1960 and were involved in many aspects of the community. When I was younger, I was one of the first girls to have a Bat Mitzvah.  I was an active member of SPY and ULPSNYC (now LJY) and represented SPS on the quiz and table tennis teams.  Later on, I became a leader of SPY and also taught at Religion School for many years. After getting married to Anthony and having our daughter Emma, we all became very involved in SPS.  Emma went to SPY for many years and danced with Rikud then became a leader of both and also taught at Religion School. Anthony is a member of the Finance Committee and Head of Security. Having served on several committees including Youth and Education, RAC, Security and Fund Raising, I now look forward to my new role and continuing to be an active member of SPS.

Stephen Lesley

Stephen Lesley

Hon. Treasurer

We joined the Shul in April 2001 having moved to Oakwood in 1999. Amanda’s parents were members of the Synagogue for more than 40 years. We have a daughter who is also a member and a son. We celebrated our sons Barmitzvah at SPS in 2004 and Rabbi Yuval officiated over our daughter’s wedding in 2019.

My first involvement with SPS was that of being a founder member of SPS Table Tennis Club in 2004 and shortly after I joined the Security committee where I became vice-chair after which I was elected onto council. I joined the Finance committee in 2013 and in 2016 was elected honorary treasurer and chair of the finance committee in 2016, both positions I have retained to-date.

Council

David Hockman

David Hockman

Norma Jacobs

Norma Jacobs

Amanda Lesley

Amanda Lesley

Anthony Marsh

Anthony Marsh

Barbara Martin

Barbara Martin

Michele Raab

Michele Raab

Julian Sampson

Julian Sampson

Carole Shotts

Carole Shotts

Pearl Phillips

Pearl Phillips

Life President

My Husband and I moved to Southgate in 1956 and joined the Synagogue which was a small house in Chase Road and nothing like the site as it is today.

At that time we were both working and not regular attendees except for High Holy days but had contact with members of the Social Committee who would call on us with details/tickets of forthcoming events.

Once our family arrived I became involved, joined the Social Committee, Religious Activities and House Committees and was elected to Council. I sang in the choir and with help from one or two members compiled the music folders, contacted choristers and dealt with all the admin.

After many years I was appointed vice-president, then life vice-president and life president.

Our involvement within the community resulted in long term friends, many of whom unfortunately, are no longer with us, however I look back over the years at SPS with pleasure and pride.

Phyllis Freedman

Phyllis Freedman

Life Vice-President

I have been a member of SPS all my life.  After confirmation, age 15, following a teacher training course, I taught in the religion school for a year before going off on my travels.  When I returned, over a period of time, I served on all committees; often as secretary or chairman and also taught in the religion school for about 20 years culminating in running it, with three others for a number of years.  I was the hon secretary for 6 years followed by chairman for 3.  I was also joint vice-chairman for a year and then chairman again.  My husband and I married in 1975 and were the first “children of the Synagogue” to marry.  I have two daughters.  Currently I am a member of the finance committee and also teach bar/bat mitzvah and Hebrew, sometimes to children of parents who I taught.

Vice-Presidents

There are currently eight vice-presidents who are ratified each year by Council having fulfilled at least 20 years membership of the Synagogue.

Lynda Cannon

Lynda Cannon

Synagogue Administrator

Ruach (Religion School)

Gwendolen Burton

Gwendolen Burton

Headteacher

Shelley Samuels

Shelley Samuels

Administrator

Orestes Cruz

Orestes Cruz

Caretaker

Upcoming Events

View Calendar