There were double blessings in Liverpool this week, after two rebbetzins gave birth to daughters on the same day, in the same hospital.
Liat Lieberman, 29, of Allerton Synagogue, gave birth in the early hours of Monday morning, followed by Tzivia Brown, 38, of Chabad on Campus, who welcomed her new arrival in the early evening at Liverpool Women’s hospital.
“It’s an absolutely unique occurrence,” enthused Rabbi Shmuli Brown. “People say Liverpool is a dwindling community, but this proves there is continuity. We are rebuilding it.”
Israeli-born Tzivia, along with her Mancunian husband Shmuli, have looked after Jewish students in five separate universities across Liverpool for the past seven years.
They are already the proud parents of seven children, ranging from ages two to 12.
Meanwhile, Liat, originally from South Africa, and her husband Dan, from Manchester, arrived in Liverpool five years ago.
The couple have two boys aged five and seven and one girl aged two.
Speaking about his fellow Mancunian colleague, Rabbi Lieberman said: “We both grew up in the same place, so we knew of each other, but we didn’t go to the same schools and are of a different age group.
“As we are both among the few religious people in Liverpool, we became friendlier. Shmuli davens at Allerton Synagogue every Shabbat.”
Both wives were more than a week overdue, but the simultaneous timing still came as a complete surprise for the couples.
Rabbi Brown said: “We were all chatting the Shabbat before Shavuot. Tzivia joked we would end up in hospital on Shavuot, both bringing our cheesecakes along!”
The community expressed their disbelief and delight on social media after hearing the incredible news.
“People are saying that I must have arranged it somehow through some Godly power,” he laughed. “We didn’t know what gender it would be, let alone what day the baby would emerge.”
Both mothers and babies are now back at home and the two families are hoping to throw a celebratory kiddush together.
When asked if they hope their daughters will follow in their mothers’ footsteps as rebbetzins, Rabbi Brown said: “It’s definitely our dream that every one of our kids goes out on shlichus (emissary work)”.
Rabbi Lieberman added: “Being a rebbetzin isn’t for everyone. Whatever they want to be, they should be and whatever they’re good at, they should do.”