Rabbi Jackie Tabick

North West Surrey Synagogue

Rabbi Tabick was the first woman to receive semicah in this country when she was ordained at Leo Baeck College in 1975. She served the West London Synagogue in Marble Arch until the end of 1998, joining North West Surrey, the Weybridge-based Reform community, the following year. Married to fellow rabbi Larry Tabick, they have three children aged 17-27.

Tell us about your family life
We are all science fiction fans, enjoying Star Trek and Babylon 5. At the moment we are making plans for, and looking forward to, our middle child's wedding in October.

Tell us about a typical week at the synagogue
What is typical about any week except for committee meetings, Shabbat and teaching? We have about 300 family units and run a host of activities for all age groups. There are Torah breakfasts, Shabbat lunch and learn sessions and monthly Shabbat onegim for adults and services for children. We encourage members to take a full part in helping to lead our Shabbat services.

Tell us what you like most about your role
I especially enjoy the teaching and being, I hope, positively engaged in families' lives. I feel honoured that I can sometimes be helpful when people are experiencing great stress.

Tell us what you do in your spare time
I am so busy trying to complete a thesis on what has happened to those who converted through the Reform movement over the last 50 years that I have no time for my favourite lesiure pursuits. I have been trying to build and furnish a dolls' house for 27 years! I am heavily engaged in interfaith activities, chairing the World Congress of Faiths and sitting on the executives of the Interfaith Network and the Three Faiths Forum.

Tell us how you define your Judaism
Trying to bring the Messianic age into our chaotic lives and helping each other along the way.

Last updated: 1:34pm, September 23 2009