New rabbi for West London as it ups education


West London Synagogue is to put education centre stage when Rabbi Neil Janes becomes an additional member of its rabbinical team. In addition to fulfilling his rabbinical duties, Rabbi Janes will be launching a new adult learning institute, which will be based at the synagogue.

Chairman Jill Todd said: "We are very much looking forward to welcoming Rabbi Neil to our team. His intellectual curiosity and love of learning, coupled with his devotion to pastoral care and his interest in younger people, will make a strong addition to all our programmes. And his passion for giving Jews across the religious spectrum greater opportunity to learn and study and grow Jewishly will be just what is needed as he takes up the additional role of director of the synagogue's new adult learning institute. His enthusiasm will give the institute the greatest chance of success."

Rabbi Janes said: "This was an opportunity for me to develop something new and exciting for adult Jewish learning in central London. It will allow me to make, what I hope, will be a valuable contribution to progressive Judaism and wider Jewish life in the UK."

Rabbi Janes has worked at St John's Wood's Liberal Jewish Synagogue for three years and admits it was not an easy decision to move on.

"I have really valued my time working at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue and have treasured the warmth of the community shown to me and my family. It has been a privilege working for such an important community, the oldest and largest Liberal synagogue in the UK, with some pioneering programmes and inspiring volunteers. I have appreciated the strong relationships formed and hope the connection to the LJS can continue in a different way in the future."

His wife, Michelle, is the operations director of Masorti Judaism, and the couple have two young children.

Rabbi Janes will be beginning his new appointment at the beginning of June 2015.

He will be joining rabbis Julia Neuberger, Helen Freeman and David Mitchell.

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