Reform Judaism has been part of my whole life. I grew up, was Bar Mitzvah and married in Alyth where my parents were active members. For the past 40 years my wife and I have been members of Bromley Reform Synagogue. I was a cheder teacher and continue to teach Bnei Mitzvah. I have also taught our adult members, led a Torah text study group and am currently teaching prospective converts. I have served as Chair of the Education committee and, as senior warden, of our Ritual committee. I was also Chair of the BRS Board for some 6 years.
I am a doctor and research physician. Having qualified at King’s College Hospital and worked in various hospitals, my wife and I made aliyah. In Israel I worked as a physician at the Soroka Medical Centre, Beer Sheva. After 6 years, we returned with our 2 children to the UK and I joined the Wellcome Research Laboratories in Beckenham, South London, where I was appointed Head of Department of Clinical Pharmacology, responsible for early clinical development of new medicines. More recently I have provided consultancy in pharmaceutical medicine and have been actively involved in postgraduate education, mainly at King’s College, London.
I enjoy taking on new challenges and I think my personal experience of both a large and a much smaller synagogue could help me contribute to the Board of Trustees, particularly by promoting cooperation between communities. The Reform movement needs to grow by attracting new members from the whole spectrum of the Jewish population of this country. Reform Judaism is progressive and enlightened whilst respecting Jewish tradition. We should be the mainstream of Jewish practice in the UK but outreach is a challenge and many synagogues are inward looking. We need to learn best practice from each other and recognise that the needs of small communities are often very different from those of the large ones. I also consider there is a great need to promote the involvement of our younger members with the State of Israel.
In my professional life, I have welcomed new ideas enabling them to be shared and challenged so that all can add value. I am sure this approach is also applicable to the activities of the Board of Trustees.