A young couple have been appointed to take up the mantle as senior rabbinic couple of Golders Green United Synagogue.
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Kurzer, 37 and 36, currently the rabbinic couple of Pinner United Synagogue, will make the move to Golders Green with their four children and expect to take up their roles around April 2024.
Rabbi Ben Kurzer studied at Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem for three years and a further seven years at Yeshiva University in New York, where he attained his BA in Jewish history as well as his semichah. He continues to maintain strong relationships at both flagship institutions.
Rabbi Kurzer told the JC: “We think of ourselves as quite an innovative rabbinate who enjoy bringing creativity and warmth to everything we do. I’m personally passionate about people, genuine Torah education and engaging with people of all ages, stages and backgrounds to deepen their Jewish learning.
“I think Golders Green is a very open, diverse and unique community, and I do believe we have the opportunity to create a real modern Orthodox hub, a centre for all those who have a shul but also those who don’t.”
Despite their inevitably missing Pinner, he added that he and his family are “so excited” about the move to Golders Green, where they already have parents and in-laws, and where their children already have friends.
Outside the rabbinate, Rabbi Kurzer enjoys science, his family, languages — he speaks Hebrew, and Portuguese fluently — and a variety of sports, his favourite being Formula One.
Rebbetzin Kurzer is an alumna of the Chief Rabbi’s Ma’ayan programme (for high-level women’s Torah education and leadership) and has an MA in clinical social work. She is currently completing a doctorate in clinical psychology at Royal Holloway University. She has worked in the Jewish charity sector and the NHS, and enjoys live music, reading, and connecting with friends over lattes.
They said they are looking forward to working with “the excellent rabbinic team and lay leadership to take the community forward and build on the fantastic work of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Belovski.”
The Belovskis are leaving the Golders Green community after 20 years this Shabbat, during which there will be a valedictory sermon, a farewell kiddush and a cocktail celebration after Shabbat.
David Vaughan, chair of Golders Green Synagogue, said he was “delighted” that members had overwhelmingly endorsed the unanimous choice of the selection committee and the synagogue council to appoint Rabbi and Rebbetzen Kurzer as senior rabbinic couple.
He added: “We have had excellent feedback as to how well they came across during a packed Shabbaton. Rabbi Kurzer and Rebbetzin Abi’s ability to provide modern, thoughtful, and inspiring Jewish leadership, as well as warm and sensitive pastoral support to our diverse membership, makes them the ideal couple to lead Golders Green Synagogue into the new era.”
Golders Green Synagogue opened in 1922 and is now a grade-II listed building, currently serving more than 350 member households.