Leo Baeck welcomes first lady principal

The Leo Baeck College has held an induction service for a new principal for the first time.

Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris - a rabbinic graduate of the college and the first woman principal in its 66-year history - was formally installed in a ceremony conducted by Rabbi Colin Eimer of Shaarei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue. Part of the rabbinic team at Shaarei Tsedek and a part-time lecturer at the college before becoming principal, Rabbi Kahn-Harris recently gained her doctorate in biblical studies from Sheffield University.

European Union for Progressive Judaism president Leslie Bergman said the college was an "invaluable partner" in the regeneration of Jewish life. Twenty years ago, there were just four European countries outside the UK with a Progressive community. There were now 18.

Honorary fellowships were awarded to former Leo Baeck chairman Miriam Kramer, who is president-designate of the EUPJ; former treasurer David Liebling; former vice-principal Rabbi Dr Michael Shire and Joseph Edward Cross, who has organised the choirs for rabbinic ordination ceremonies.

Last updated: 1:18pm, February 9 2012