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Five new Progressive Rabbis ordained by Leo Baeck College

Five new Progressive Rabbis ordained by Leo Baeck College
Rabbi Nicola Feuchtwang, Rabbi Martina Loreggian, Rabbi Daisy Bogod (in front), Rabbi Matthew Turchin and Rabbi Eleanor Davis

Leo Baeck College (LBC) ordained five new Progressive Rabbis in a service held at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS).

Rabbi Daisy Bogod was ordained by Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Co-Lead of Progressive Judaism.

Rabbi Eleanor Davis was ordained by Rabbi Danny Smith, Emeritus Senior Minister of Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue.

Rabbi Nicola Feuchtwang was ordained by Rabbi Josh Levy, Co-Lead of Progressive Judaism.

Rabbi Martina Loreggian was ordained by Rabbi Mark Solomon, Rabbi of Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community and of Leicester Progressive Jewish Community and Senior Lecturer in Rabbinic Literature at Leo Baeck College.

Rabbi Matt Turchin was ordained by Rabbi Alexandra Wright, Senior Rabbi of The Liberal Jewish Synagogue and President of Liberal Judaism.

More than 250 people attended the service – led by Rabbi Igor Zinkov of the LJS and Cantor Tamara Wolfson of Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue – with another 100 watching online.

It was a special moment for Progressive Judaism Co-Leads, Rabbis Josh Levy and Charley Baginsky, as it was the first time they had both ordained someone into the clergy.

Others to play key roles during the event included LBC Principal Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris, Dean Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh and Chair Professor David Simon – along with Rabbi Anna Wolfson, Co-Chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors, and Rabbi Kath Vardi, Co-Chair of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors.

Rabbi Nicola Feuchtwang, Rabbi Josh Levy, Rabbi Alexandra Wright, Rabbi Matthew Turchin, Rabbi Mark Solomon, Rabbi Martina Loreggian, Rabbi Eleanor Davis, Rabbi Danny Smith, Rabbi Daisy Bogod and Rabbi Charley Baginsky
Rabbi Nicola Feuchtwang, Rabbi Josh Levy, Rabbi Alexandra Wright, Rabbi Matthew Turchin, Rabbi Mark Solomon, Rabbi Martina Loreggian, Rabbi Eleanor Davis, Rabbi Danny Smith, Rabbi Daisy Bogod and Rabbi Charley Baginsky

Giving the Ordination address, LBC Senior Librarian Cassy Sachar said: “You have excelled in your academic studies and applied the same insight and rigour to your vocational learning.

“So that now you can take on your roles as leaders and teachers, activists and scholars, politician, fundraiser, counsellor, sweet singer, mystic, peacemaker – the myriad things a professional rabbi might be.

“One of the most fundamental experiences of change in Torah is the journey from slavery to freedom. The Exodus narrative illustrates collective change, showing the transformation of a group of individuals into a people. The community is built through their shared experience.

“And you dear rabbis belong to some extraordinary communities. As of now, you are part of the community of rabbis stretching back to Moshe Rabbeinu that have been beloved and hectored by Jewish communities for millennia. You have been part of the nourishing, excitable community of Leo Baeck students, as well as your congregations and the wider College community: the village it takes to raise a rabbi.”

Leo Baeck College is the UK’s only Progressive Jewish rabbinic seminary, training rabbis for Liberal, Masorti and Reform congregations in the UK and abroad. Its five-year rabbinic postgraduate programme is known for its depth and intensity. More information on the rabbinic programme can be found here.

LBC Dean Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh, Rabbi Martina Loreggian, Rabbi Nicola Feuchtwang, Rabbi Daisy Bogod, LBC Principal Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris, Rabbi Eleanor Davis and Rabbi Matthew Turchin
Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh, Rabbi Martina Loreggian, Rabbi Nicola Feuchtwang, Rabbi Daisy Bogod, Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris, Rabbi Eleanor Davis and Rabbi Matthew Turchin

Short biographies of our five new Rabbis are:

Rabbi Daisy Bogod spent much of her childhood sleeping on synagogue floors as part of LJY-Netzer. She studied English Literature at University, and worked as an educator and teacher in several Progressive communities before commencing her studies at Leo Baeck College. For her rabbinic dissertation, she wrote about rabbinic work through the lens of feminist disability theory and her experiences as an ambulant wheelchair user. Daisy is committed to building communities with social justice and liberation at their hearts.

Rabbi Eleanor Davis began as a flute and piano teacher before moving to work in arts administration and settling in London with her husband Robert; she came to Leo Baeck College via many years of Rosh Chodesh groups and teaching in adult Jewish education. As a student rabbi, Eleanor travelled around the UK and Ireland and now looks forward to settling in one community, ideally serving a congregation where she can continue to develop her interest in ritual, creativity and learning.

Rabbi Nicola Feuchtwang entered the rabbinic training programme at Leo Baeck College after a long career as an NHS paediatrician, as well as a lifetime of involvement in varied roles at Alyth Synagogue and the wider Jewish community. She is now a (part-time) member of the rabbinic team at Alyth, looking forward to new challenges there and elsewhere.

Rabbi Martina Loreggian was a project manager for seventeen years before embarking on rabbinical studies. Born in Milan, and as the first Italian woman to be ordained as a rabbi, she plans to maintain part of her rabbinate in Italy where she hopes to contribute to the development of Italian Progressive Judaism, particularly for communities in the North. Having settled in London, she also plans to work for UK communities, infusing them with her passion for education and pastoral care.

Rabbi Matt Turchin began his studies at Leo Baeck College following a career in the US as a classroom teacher and reading specialist with Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education and Literacy. While preparing for the rabbinate, Matt served for two years as the Head Teacher of Rimon, the religion school of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, before spending his final two years of study interning at the West London Synagogue, where he has accepted a position as Assistant Rabbi beginning in July 2024. Matt is excited to continue living in London with his wife, Avi Green, and their daughter, Edith.

  • All photos by Zoe Norfolk
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