New assistant rabbi for Cockfosters
Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum is Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue's new assistant rabbi with principal responsibility for its Hadley Wood satellite congregation.
The former Hasmonean pupil succeeds Rabbi Zvi Wanderer, who left to develop his career as an educator.
Rabbi Birnbaum studied at yeshivot in the UK and Israel, where he gained his semichah.
He also has a law degree from the Open University and was last year a member of the United Synagogue's rabbinic interns programme.
With his wife Elisheva, a qualified occupational therapist, and their three young children, Rabbi Birnbaum has taken up residence in the Lancaster Road premises which also serve as a shul for the 100-strong Hadley Wood community. He says one of his first tasks will be to start a Friday night service.
"As a first-time rabbinical post, we can think of no better place," he said. "There are exciting times ahead for Hadley Wood and we look forward to working together with the community in encouraging its continued growth and development."