Rabbi Mati Kos

North East Region


Rabbi Mati Kos and his wife Vanessa

Rabbi Mati Kos and his wife Vanessa

Rabbi Kos was born in Warsaw in 1972 and is the first ordained rabbi from Poland since the end of the Cold War

● Tell us about your life

From a young age I was active in the Jewish community, including co-founding the Polish Union of Jewish Students and later as an active member of the European Union of Jewish Students.

After pursuing a successful career as a currency trader in Warsaw, and founding a Polish internet company, I decided to dedicate my life to the Jewish community. I left Poland for Monsey, New York, and enrolled at Ohr Somayach Yeshiva.

In New York, I met my wife Vanessa, who is my partner in student outreach. Vanessa was born in Germany, educated in England, and had a successful career in Jewish student outreach in London and the US before we met.

We worked briefly in the US before moving to Hamburg where we built a network for Jewish students and young professionals for the Jewish community.

We are blessed with two wonderful children. Esther is three and was born in the US, and our son Moshe, who was born in Germany, is now two years old.

● Explain your role in the north east

Our aim as chaplains is to create a community and connections for Jewish students. Through programming, friendships and an open door we are bringing Jewish students together.

It is exciting to start a new chaplaincy in the north east. Our initial efforts will be focused on establishing our programme and
letting the students know that they have their own chaplain.

The UJC is for all kinds of students, so our programming reflects their diversity of interests. In addition to Shabbat hospitality and celebrating Jewish holidays, we also offer activities such as social events, discussions, nature outings and learning opportunities.

We look forward to working with students on a social action project this year, and a "L'Chaim Expedition" whisky-tasting trip.

● What campuses do you cover and how can you be contacted?

We work at universities in Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside and can be contacted by students by email – mati@ujc.org.uk or Vanessa@ujc.org.uk – and by phone on 07817 250 557.l

    Last updated: 2:32pm, March 24 2011