Highgate rabbi named United Synagogue’s first head of Centre for Rabbinic Excellence
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Highgate rabbi named United Synagogue’s first head of Centre for Rabbinic Excellence

Highgate's Rabbi Nicky Liss will head the initiative aimed at moulding exceptional communal leaders

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Centre for Rabbinic Excellence (CRE)'s new head, Rabbi Nicky Liss, with Chief Rabbi Mirvis
Centre for Rabbinic Excellence (CRE)'s new head, Rabbi Nicky Liss, with Chief Rabbi Mirvis

Highgate Synagogue’s Rabbi Nicky Liss has been named as the first director of the United Synagogue’s newly-created Centre for Rabbinic Excellence (CRE).

The new Centre is aimed at moulding exceptional rabbis and rebbetzens by providing ongoing professional development opportunities through partnerships with training providers, mentors, coaches and academic institutions.

It’s the first such US initiative aimed jointly at rabbis and rebbetzens, taking into account the roles rabbis’ wives play in congregational appointments. The couples will benefit from customised training plans as part of the rabbinic review and goalsetting process. The Centre will also play a key role in talent-spotting and the nurturing of interns and potential rabbinic candidates.

Rabbi Liss, who was chair of the US Rabbinical Council for five years, will establish and lead the new Centre, set its strategic direction, oversee its programmes and manage the professional team. He will retain his post as senior rabbi at Highgate Synagogue.

He will be joined by Hendon’s senior rabbi Mordechai Ginsbury, who will become associate director of the CRE in addition to his duties at Hendon, and Judy Markovic has been appointed the Centre’s programme manager. They both bring significant experience, having worked for P’eir, the United Synagogue’s current training arm.

The new team will meet rabbis and rebbetzens to discuss their needs and then build a broad programme of continuous professional development. The Centre will launch in early 2022.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “The creation of the Centre for Rabbinic Excellence is  a significant development for the British Jewish community. The CRE will enhance the capacity of the United Synagogue to support our wonderful rabbis and rebbetzens in their quest to care for, educate and inspire their communities”.

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