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New student Rabbis at Leo Baeck College

LEO Baeck College (LBC) will welcome five new students onto its rabbinical programme in September 2023. From an eclectic mix of backgrounds, LBC’s latest cohort include a molecular biologist, an artist activist and a former civil servant who is also a professional musician. LBC is a preeminent institution of
Jewish scholarship and learning. The overwhelming majority of Liberal and Reform Judaism rabbis in the UK, and many abroad, trained there. Students spend five years at the College training for the rabbinate. The depth and intensity of the programme is a reflection of the centrality of the College in the life of the Progressive Jewish world in the UK and Europe. College Principal Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris said: “Progressive Judaism and our communities across the UK and beyond should feel reassured that world
class rabbinic training and continuity for our future generations continues to go from strength to strength. This is a particularly exciting time for the College as we prepare to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the first ordination of openly LGBTQI+ rabbis in Europe.”

Emily Carp is a proud daughter of the north of England. After graduating from the University of Manchester in 2014 in Middle Eastern studies, she volunteered in an elementary school in Ashdod. Since then, she has worked for a financial services company and Hillel Ontario in Toronto. Emily‘s love for Jewish life stems from growing up at Menorah Synagogue, singing with the choir since she was 12-years-old and holding various community roles over the years.

Rachel Berkson is a member of Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue, Cambridge. Rachel read Lech Lecha at her batmitzvah and soon after started journeying around northern Europe pursuing a career in molecular biology. In parallel with a PhD in Scotland, post-doctoral research in Sweden and lecturing at a medical school in England, Rachel spent many years volunteering with small and far-flung Jewish communities. She returned to her hometown of Cambridge in 2017 to work as an education specialist.

Dr Jennifer Verson is a member of Liverpool Reform Synagogue and is passionate about the role of Jewish cultural heritage in peace building. Her doctoral work in this area traced back the migration of Liverpool Reform’s Czech Memorial Scroll and involved working with performance and scriptural reasoning to create new forms of Shoah remembrance. She is the founding member and Artistic Director of Migrant Artists Mutual Aid (MaMa).

Hava Mirviss-Carvajal was born in New York and raised in London, with Litvak and Conversa heritage. She is one of the roshim of Queer Yeshiva, and is a member of Oaks Lane Reform Synagogue (SWESRS). She is beyond excited to be a humble part of the vibrant future of Jewish life in the UK.

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