Rabbi Anna Wolfson has started work in a unique rabbinic position in British Jewry. Rabbi Anna joins the Mosaic Jewish Community as the first Development Rabbi in the country with responsibilities across three synagogues in different movements – Mosaic Reform, Mosaic Liberal and Mosaic Masorti. Her role is also to develop other expressions of Judaism beyond these existing movements, furthering Mosaic’s mission “Choose your Jewish life”.
Anna joins Mosaic at an exciting time for our community. Our brand-new custom-designed building in Stanmore is due to be completed and handed over by the developers this Spring, aiming for full operation by Summer. As well as providing a home for religious services, the building will be a new cultural, social and educational centre in the area.
Commenting on her role, Rabbi Anna said: “Being a Rabbi across three communities in one space has not been done before. This is not just about bringing new people into the community but letting them feel ownership. I am looking forward to building relationships, working with my rabbinic colleagues, facilitating creative community spaces, and being part of the wider Stanmore community”.
Although this is a new concept in the UK, a Jewish “emergent community network” has developed in the USA which brings together varying synagogues trying to develop new forms of Jewish expression alongside existing religious movements.
As well as her development role, Rabbi Anna will spend around a quarter of her time at Mosaic Liberal working alongside Rabbi Rachel Benjamin. Anna grew up in Nottingham as a member of Nottingham Liberal Synagogue. Between university and attending Leo Baeck College Anna worked as a movement worker for LJY Netzer and was an educator for the Netzer gap year programme in Israel. Ordained in Summer 2020, Anna has since served as the Rabbi for Beit Klal Yisrael, Norwich Liberal Jewish Congregation and as the Chaplain for Progressive Jewish Students.
Mosaic co-chair Mark Phillips comments: “As we emerge from the pandemic and look forward to our new home in Stanmore, our priority as a community is to help Jewish people “Choose our Jewish life” – providing a diverse range of ways to engage with Judaism and our community. With Rabbi Anna’s skills, experience and passion for Judaism, she is perfectly placed to help move us in this direction. We are excited that Anna has joined us.”