Rabbi Lister, who was inducted as the minister of one of the United Synagogue’s leading communities last month, has previously served in the pulpit at Reading Hebrew Congregation and at Muswell Hill Synagogue. He studied at Yeshivas Shaarei Torah in Manchester, and in Yeshivas Mir and Ohr Lagolah, Ohr Sameach’s Diaspora training programme in Jerusalem. He received ordination through Ohr Lagolah. Rabbi Lister, who has a BA in French and modern Hebrew from University College London, has also taught infants at North West London Jewish Day School. He and his wife Rachie have five children aged two to 12
Tell us about a typical week
There are certain fixed points in the week. A pre-batmitzvah and barmitzvah class will be starting in September and I will be teaching there on a Sunday morning. I have a weekly chumash shiur and other adult education plans are in the pipeline. On Friday morning I join the children in the Gan Kinneret Nursery in the synagogue for their Shabbat party.
On Shabbat morning I will pop in to some of the eight services taking place in the building and speak, leyen or lead the service. On Shabbat afternoon I speak at our popular seudah shlishit. In summer, we also have monthly children’s events in the park during Shabbat afternoons. As well as preparing for, and doing, all this, I regularly visit local schools, pay welfare visits, engage in interfaith work and help with welfare, youth and community development programmes.
What you like most about your role?
What do you do with your time off?
I like reading and music. I am interested in space exploration and quantum physics. The family enjoy having meals together on Shabbat. We like to go out on trips and holidays to isolated places.
Define your Judaism
What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the entire law: all the rest is commentary.