Yaera Ratel, Elliott Karstadt, Anna Posner, Deborah Blausten and Frankie Stubbs join the class of 2015 from a variety of backgrounds. Jessica Rosenfield, who was also accepted, will join the programme in 2016.
Deborah is a native Londoner and a third generation member of Alyth Synagogue. Involved in RSY-Netzer from a young age, she spent a year in Israel on Shnat Netzer, studying at the Conservative Yeshiva and the Machon l'Madrichei Chutz La'Aretz before studying Medicine at UCL. After graduating she worked for Jeneration, developing the presence of Reform Judaism on university campuses, before returning to UCL to study for a Masters in her twin passions of Education and Technology. Deborah has worked at Finchley Reform Synagogue for the past five years, first teaching and co-ordinating its 'Shabbat Programme' and more recently as the synagogue's Young People's Educator. Deborah is also a keen Limmudnik and is currently the programming chair of Limmud Conference 2015. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, running and crafting.
Elliott was brought up in Finchley Progressive Synagogue, where he is now a long-standing teacher at Ivriah (the religion school) and bass player in Shabbat Resouled. After a successful year teaching GCSE at West London Synagogue, he has also been involved in shaping their innovative Tripod programme for teens. Elliott is a regular at Limmud conferences and the Liberal Judaism Biennial. Before being accepted at Leo Baeck College he gained a BA in History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, then an MA and PhD in Intellectual History from Queen Mary University of London, where his research focused on moral and political ways of talking about particular interests and the common good in the seventeenth century. For the last two years Elliott has worked as an editor at Polity Press in Cambridge. He is a lover of books, films, and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Elliott very much looks forward to studying at Leo Baeck College, where he hopes to develop skills required for building community and enhancing the philosophical and prophetic messages he finds in Jewish texts.
Frankie grew up in Southport as a member of Southport Reform Synagogue. She was an active member of the community from early on, developing leadership skills and teaching at Cheder. Frankie was a participant and madricha for RSY-Netzer before truly realising her passion for communities and prayer. During her time at Nottingham Trent University where she studied Youth Studies, Frankie enjoyed learning more practical skills around working with individuals. In September 2011 Frankie became a Movement Worker for RSY-Netzer. MRJ then employed her to continue working with the Reform Communities as their Youth Community Development Worker. Frankie is looking forward to this next stage of her journey of learning more, meeting new people and growing from all the new experiences to come!
Anna Posner was born and raised in Nottingham as a member of Nottingham Liberal Synagogue. She was active in the community teaching at the cheder and was a participant and madricha in LJY-Netzer. Anna studied Drama and Religious studies at Liverpool Hope University before spending two years as a Movement Worker for LJY-Nezter. Whilst living in London. Anna was active in organising LEAPP (Learning eating and progressive praying) events. Anna is currently living in Jerusalem and working for Netzer Olami's gap year programme, Shnat Netzer.
Yaera was born and grew up in East of France and studied for a degree in Sociology in Strasbourg and Paris where she worked for 20 years as a Sound Editor for films.
She became involved at the Communauté Juive Libérale (Reform synagogue), in Paris, initially as a member, then as a teacher. She was subsequently Director of the Talmud Torah for several years. Her commitment and active life in her congregation together with her interaction with the members of the community and the education and encouragement she received from her rabbis determined her conviction to become a rabbi. In addition, she had the opportunity to develop a strong connection with Israel at Beutel seminar at Beit Shmuel and at the Hebrew University summer Ulpan, both in Jerusalem.
Before coming to the Leo Baeck College, Yaera undertook studies for a Modern Hebrew degree at INALCO (National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations) and in parallel she taught Judaism to adults and young people at her synagogue via e-learning.