Rabbi Emily

Rabbi Emily is our new Associate Rabbi with a passion for engaging with members across the community. Her primary focus is on building an inclusive and vibrant community which fosters meaningful connections amongst our youth, young families, students and young adults.

Raised in Toronto, Canada, by an Israeli father and British mother, Rabbi Emily’s parents made sure that she grew up with an appreciation of her British-Israeli roots. In her youth and teenager years, Emily dedicated herself to studying music and theatre. It was at York University in Toronto that her life took an unexpected turn; originally, enrolled to explore film studies, she soon found herself drawn to religious studies. She graduated in 2010 with a BA, a deep passion for Jewish education and a new outlet for her guitar-playing - Jewish liturgical music.

Whilst deepening her connections with Jewish studies, Emily began regularly attending services at her local synagogue, Solel Congregation in Mississauga. Before long, she was thoroughly immersed in congregational life; working as a cantorial soloist, a religion school teacher, and tutoring Bar and Bat Mitzvah students. After three years of unforgettable experiences, she decided to devote herself fully to Judaism by becoming a Rabbi.

Emily applied to Leo Baeck College in London, but spent the first year of her studies in Israel at Hebrew Union College. Returning to London for the duration of the rabbinic programme, she became involved with several congregations, again focusing on teenage engagement.

Ordained in 2015, for the next few years Rabbi Emily honed her skills in the field of spiritual engagement for youth, young adults and families at Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue. Alongside working as the first ever woman minister for EHRS, a traditional synagogue of a similar size to WLS, Rabbi Emily also served Stevenage Liberal Synagogue, a wonderful and warm small community in North Hertfordshire. In 2017, Rabbi Emily became a full-time part of the team at EHRS where she remained for a further three happy years.

Rabbi Emily is passionate about making communities accessible and inclusive places for everyone. She models this in her rabbinate and knows that the very best moments of rabbinic life are the opportunities one gets for meeting lots of new and interesting people!

When not at WLS, Rabbi Emily spends her time knitting, listening to music and crafting. She lives in North London with her wife Dr. Renée Reitsma-Jurman (a long-term member of WLS), their two cats and their housemate and best friend, Rabbi Adam Frankenberg.

To contact Rabbi Emily, please email her or contact her PA, Kathryn Forro on 020 7535 0259. 

Rabbi Emily's Thought for the Week, 25 September 2021