A new rabbinic couple has been appointed to serve the Hadley Wood Jewish Community.
Rabbi Akiva Rosenblatt and Rebbetzen Batya are Woodside Park United Synagogue’s current assistant rabbinic couple.
They are expected to succeed Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum and Rebbetzen Elisheva in August, who will take up a rabbinic position in Hendon.
Rabbi Rosenblatt was born in Liverpool and raised in north west London. He received his first rabbinic ordination at 23 and is a trained chazzan. He supports Liverpool Football Club.
The rebbetzen, originally from Manchester, spent three years at the Jewish Teachers Training College in Gateshead and went on to teach Jewish studies at Broughton Jewish Primary School. After moving to Jerusalem, she qualified as a massage therapist and reflexologist and set up her own massage salon in the city.
Earlier this year the Rosenblatts graduated from the Rabbinic Training Academy, an 18-month leadership programme for newly-qualified rabbinic couples. They were both recently appointed to Nightingale Hospital’s chaplaincy team.
“We are so excited to join this vibrant, dynamic and innovative community. Building on the Birnbaums’ incredible spirit of warmth and inclusivity, we look forward to enriching the lives of all our members with the wisdom, love and spirituality of our heritage – regardless of age and level of observance,” Rabbi Akiva Rosenblatt said.
He added: “We will miss the Woodside Park community tremendously and feel deep gratitude for the wonderful experiences and the constant support. The relationships built and profound friendships forged will remain with us forever. Batya and I thank in particular Rabbi and Rebbetzen Hackenbroch for their care and guidance together with Steven Woolf and Gidon Ohana, the community’s chair and vice chair, for their support and friendship.”
John Melchior, chair of the board of management of Hadley Wood Jewish Community, welcomed the couple to the community.
“Through a very unusual lockdown interview process, the Rosenblatts shone through, and we were convinced that they possess all the qualities that we were looking for to drive our wonderful community to further strength and engagement. Our choice has now been supported overwhelmingly by both our board and our membership, and we can’t wait to welcome the Rosenblatts to join us for the next chapter of the Hadley Wood Jewish Community story,” he said.