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Rabbinic ordination Sunday 6th July 2014

ordination 2014Leo Baeck College held its annual Ordination ceremony on Sunday 6th July 2014. The service, at which three new rabbis from the College were ordained, was held for the first time at Edgware & District Reform Synagogue and witnessed by a packed congregation.

The three new rabbis are Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel, who will divide his time between his congregation in Lyons, France, and Finchley Progressive Synagogue, Rabbi Dr Kate Briggs, who has already taken up a position at Glasgow Reform Synagogue and Rabbi Julia Grishchenko who will continue to do much needed and valued work with her community in Odessa, Ukraine.

The 2014 Ordination had an added dimension in that Rabbi Alexander Dukhovny, Chief Rabbi to the Progressive Jews of Kyiv and Ukraine and an alumnus of Leo Baeck, ordained Rabbi Grishchenko in Russian, the first time this had happened in the College’s fifty eight year history. On being ordained, Rabbi Grishchenko said: “I have known for 20 years that I wanted to be a Rabbi. Today is a day of great transformation in my life. I am deeply committed to my community in Odessa and to ensuring that like me, they can live truly inclusive, Progressive Jewish lives today and tomorrow.”

Leo Baeck College is extremely proud of its three new Rabbis who will undoubtedly provide leadership and strength to the communities in which they will serve.

Leo Baeck College is a preeminent institution of Jewish scholarship and learning that is open to all. At Leo Baeck College we combine inspirational, high calibre teaching with a commitment to enriching the intellectual and spiritual lives of the Progressive Jewish Community.


Parashat Balak


Dr Laliv Clenman thinks about food and sex at the end of parashat Balak.

The Torah has many references to food sources in Israel, but in parashat Balak the non-Israelite prophet Balaam claims that the people of Israel are actually like food sources:  'palm-groves that stretch out' (the source of dates) and 'gardens beside a river' (the source of fruits and vegetables). Local food production is inextricably bound up with the identity of this land and its inhabitants, and in this spirit we are proud of our work in Leket Israel's designated fields. - More information from here


Highlights from the Leo Baeck College Ordination Ceremony on Sunday 6 July 2014

LBC ordination highlights by leobaeckcollege

Launch of the Leo Baeck College Lehrhaus

Following in the steps of the Berlin Lehrhaus established in 1920 by Franz Rosenzweig, the Leo Baeck College Lehrhaus will be offering courses by the best of its lecturers and teachers in areas of particular strength.  This is a pilot project which, if successful, may lead to further growth in coming years.


Sign up today to feed your passion and enthusiasm for Progressive Jewish Education. A desire to discover yourself in Judaism and Judaism in yourself is all you will need to study with us.


18 session taught over two semesters
Biblical Hebrew with Dr Alinda Damsma
14 October to 9 December 2014 and 27 January to 24 March 2015
Tuesday evenings from 7.30 pm to 9.15 pm

8 session courses
Concepts of Kabbalah with Rabbi Larry Tabick
October to December 2014 at 7.45 pm to 9. 15pm (Monday or Tuesday dates to follow)

Two courses in Jewish Sacred Music with Dr Annette Boeckler
Life Cycle – the musical and liturgical perspective
22 October to 10 December 2014
Wednesday evenings from 7.45 pm to 9. 15 pm 

High Holidays – nusach, melodies and texts
4 February to 25 March 2015
Wednesday evenings from 7.45 pm to 9.15 pm

4 session courses
Bible Stories for Grown-Ups with Rabbi Prof Jonathan Magonet
Autumn semester at 7.45 pm to 9. 15 pm (dates to follow)

Status Issues with Rabbi Josh Levy
10, 17, 24 November and 1 December
Monday evenings at 7.45 pm to 9. 15 pm

Introduction to Midrash with Rabbi Colin Eimer
March 2015 at 7.45 pm to 9.15 pm (dates to follow)

Spinoza’s Jewish Philisophy with Rabbi Mark L Solomon
3, 10, 17, 24 February 2015 at 7.45 pm to 9.15 pm
Tuesday evenings at 7.45 pm to 9. 15 pm

Opening Special Rates
£50 for four sessions
£100 for eight sessions
£120 for a semester or £200 for two semesters of Biblical Hebrew

To register interest please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone Jarek on: 020 8349 5600

A career in Jewish Education

Would you like to be a Head Teacher of a Religion School?

Are you looking to progress in your current job?

Are you involved in youth work?

If so, Leo Baeck College  have two exciting part-time study opportunities in Jewish Education:

BA (Hons) in Jewish Education

MA in Jewish Education

Find out what our current students say about our courses


Leave a Jewish Legacy

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Jewish Legacy is working with over 40 leading Jewish charities to help people understand how important it is that they leave a gift in their Will to a Jewish charity of their choice.

Without this kind of support, the future of our favourite causes will be an uncertain one.

To find out more visit or call 07768 551639

Facebook: Help the College receive more likes

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Leo Baeck College has a brand new Facebook page which is regularly updated with interesting news, events and information.

Please spread the word and visit our Facebook page so that the College can receive more likes!

Support and enrich the work of the College

Leo Baeck College needs your help to continue training rabbis and educators for the future of progressive Judaism. We are dependent on the wider Jewish community to support and enrich our work.

There are many ways in which you can become involved supporting Leo Baeck College, including becoming a Patron,becoming a Friend, leaving a legacy, donating to the College library or providing corporate sponsorship. For more details please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it