Key players in the non-orthodox coalition

September 12, 2008

Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield was born in Ilford, Essex, in 1946. After reading law at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he became friends with the future Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, he took a doctorate at the Cambridge Institute for Criminology and then studied rabbinics at Leo Baeck College where he received semichah from rabbis John Rayner, Hugo Gryn and Louis Jacobs.

After 10 years in Surrey, he became director of the Sternberg Centre for Judaism. He is now head of the Movement for Reform Judaism.

A widower with three children and three grandchildren, Rabbi Bayfield's younger daughter, Miriam Berger, received semichah in July 2006.

Rabbi Danny Rich was born in South London. He read politics and modern history at Manchester University where he was an energetic student activist. He enrolled at Leo Baeck in 1984 and became assistant to Rabbi Julia Neuberger at South London Liberal Synagogue. By 1988 he was full-time rabbi at Kingston Liberal Synagogue. A father of four and a JP, Rabbi Rich is currently director of Leo Baeck's apprenticeship, internship and mentoring programme.

Like Rabbi Bayfield, he has an interest in criminology: he received a diploma in the subject from Leicester University in 2001. He was appointed chief executive of Liberal Judaism in 2004.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, senior rabbi of the Masorti movement, was born in Glasgow in 1957 and moved to London with his parents in 1963. A descendant of a distinguished family of rabbis, he read literature at Cambridge before studying for ordination at Leo Baeck and in Jer-usalem. Married with three children, he has been rabbi of the New North London Synagogue since 1987.

A leading advocate of interfaith dialogue and of non-fundamentalist Judaism, he hopes to help set up a multi-faith school to offer pupils a chance to study secular subjects together, while studying their own religion in depth.

Last updated: 4:37pm, September 23 2009