Dee-light for Radlett as it fills pulpit vacancy

By Jay Grenby, January 20, 2011
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Rabbi Leo Dee and his wife Lucy, “the perfect fit for Radlett”

Rabbi Leo Dee and his wife Lucy, “the perfect fit for Radlett”

Hendon Synagogue assistant minister Rabbi Leo Dee is set to become Radlett's new rabbi.
Rabbi Dee is the choice of the shul's selection committee, but the appointment requires the ratification of members. In line with the aim of appointing a "rabbinical couple", his wife Lucy has been offered a separate contract to work with younger women and families in the community, as she has been doing in Hendon.

Synagogue chair Andy Katz des-cribes the couple as "the perfect fit for Radlett". Before casting their votes, congregants have the chance to meet them this Shabbat, firstly at a specially organised Friday night dinner. Rabbi Dee, who is in his late 30s, will also deliver a sermon on Shabbat morning and hold a shiur later in the day.

Modern Orthodox in approach, the minister has been fast-tracked, having received his semichah in Israel only a few years ago.

After a 10-year financial career in the City, the Londoner began his rabbinical training in 2004. Like a previous Radlett incumbent, Rabbi Gideon Sylvester, he is a graduate of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin's Ohr Torah Stone institutions in Efrat.

At Hendon, his prinicipal role has been with the under-40s

He has been at Hendon for just over two years, where his principal role has been with the under-40s.

Mrs Dee holds a modern languages degree from Oxford and is a graduate of the London School of Jewish Studies' Susi Bradfield educational leadership programme.

She has a background in social work and substantial experience in organising support and activities for women of all ages. The couple have five young children.

Passionate Zionists with Israeli citizenship, the Dees are excited about their potential roles, "thrilled at the possibility of joining a forward looking community in which we can demonstrate the benefits of a modern outlook integrated with an authentic Jewish lifestyle".

It is hoped they can start work by May.

The vacancy was caused by the departure of Rabbi Ariel Abel last summer after five years in the Radlett pulpit. In the interim, former United Synagogue chief executive Rabbi Saul Zneimer and ex-US president Elkan Levy have been conducting services.

    Last updated: 2:34pm, January 20 2011