New rabbis bring ‘energy and talent’ to one of UK's largest shuls

New North London has appointed two American-born rabbis to strengthen its clerical team


One of the country’s largest synagogues, New North London, has appointed two American-born rabbis to strengthen its clerical team.

Rabbis Lara Haft Yom-Tov and Yael Jaffe will give three-quarters of their time to the Finchley community, while working for the Masorti movement for the rest of the week.

They join Senior Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg and Rabbi Zahavit Shalev at NNLS, as well as Rabbi Chaim Weiner, who is head of the European Masorti Beit Din.

Announcing the appointments, a spokesperson for the synagogue said: “Nearly doubling our rabbinic team in one stroke is both bold and exciting.”

Originally from Washington, Rabbi Haft Yom-Tov, who identifies as non-binary, is a student at Beit Midrash Har-El in Israel and is currently involved in a project to make Talmud teaching more accessible.

“The first time I visited NNLS, I was touched by the welcoming, thoughtful community,” they said, adding: “It’s a congregation of kind people, who come together for meaningful projects, whether they are praying together, sharing meals, supporting refugees or learning Torah.”

“It’s an honour to join the team and I’m excited to get to know everyone in the community.”

Rabbi Haft Yom-Tov will work on young adult outreach with Masorti.

From South Florida, Rabbi Jaffe is a graduate of Yeshivat Hadar in New York. “I have been so lucky to experience first-hand the warmth of the NNLS community as a guest over these past few years, and it is a joy and a privilege to join it as a member of the rabbinic team.”

“It is rare to find a community that is as deeply engaged and committed to its values as NNLS. I am excited, grateful, and humbled by the opportunity to serve this remarkable community.

As well as NNLS, Rabbi Jaffe will work with the grassroots community Ohel Moed, which is affiliated with the Masorti movement.

Rabbi Wittenberg and Rabbi Shalev issued a joint welcome, saying: “The community we love has thrived and grown, and we both feel extraordinarily fortunate to have served it over many years.”

“We are delighted to be increasing our rabbinic team with such talented and energetic young rabbis. We look forward to working together and are excited for what the future brings.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive