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Our Clergy

    Rabbi Paul Freedman

Our Senior Rabbi, Paul has been at Radlett Reform synagogue since 2004.

He grew up in the Reform Movement, though he has also belonged to Liberal and Orthodox communities. He studied Physics at Bristol University and then Education at Cambridge. He taught at schools in Bristol, Bath and then Gloucester, where he was Head of Science of a large comprehensive school, before entering Leo Baeck College to train for the rabbinate. Shortly after becoming the Rabbi of Radlett Reform, he described his role as our Rabbi as a partnership with the community: “I have come to realise how privileged, lucky, blessed I have been in this relationship. I had the sense before, and these first months have made me feel all the more, that the kind of community and rabbi that you want us to be is the kind of rabbi and community that I want for us too.”

Over the time that Paul has been Rabbi of the community, that partnership has strengthened and deepened. He is a former Chair of the Assembly of Rabbis and  a former Governor of Clore Shalom School. He is particularly interested in Jewish liturgy and as a rabbinic student was responsible for typesetting the High Holyday machzor of the Liberal Movement. More recently he edited the Reform Movement's haggadah and is currently editing the new machzor.

Paul is married to Vanessa, who for some years was a librarian at Leo Baeck College, but is now the Hebrew and Jewish Studies librarian at University College London. Paul & Vanessa are proud parents of Katie & Josh.

 

 Rabbi David-Yehuda Stern

David-Yehuda, affectionately known as ‘Rabbi DY,’ joined Radlett’s rabbinic team in July, 2022.

David-Yehuda grew up in Hendon as part of a closely-knit, observant, Orthodox community. He was first introduced to progressive Judaism whilst studying Film and Television at the University of Nottingham. It spoke to his desire for openness and empowerment within religion; he was drawn to its focus on gender equality, and engagement with the wider world. David-Yehuda’s passion for learning, social justice and sustainability led him to head up Jewish Social Responsibility at UJIA; to coordinate social action and sustainability projects for JW3; and to oversee youth and education at both North Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth) and New London Synagogue.

DY holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education and wrote his Leo Baeck College thesis on, “Kindness in Rabbinic Thought and Practice”. David-Yehuda is deeply committed to listening to, and learning from, others. This drive has seen him produce and present several podcasts, most recently Progressively Jewish - a collaboration between Reform Judaism, Liberal Judaism and Leo Baeck College. A regular presenter at Limmud, DY has co-chaired both the festival’s Families and Participant Care Teams.

David-Yehuda believes that the Divine spark lives within every person and creature. His approach to being a rabbi is imbued with the notion that each spark is unique, special and worthy of chesed (kindness), kavod (respect) and ahava (love).

David-Yehuda is married to Robin who works in the world of philanthropy. Together they have two children, Aviva and Ora who, “really love the shul kiddush!” – and have a very bouncy cockapoo called Hagbah. 

Thu, 11 August 2022 14 Av 5782