The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE -


RABBI LIV­ING­STONE moved to Hamp­stead Gar­den Sub­urb’s United Syn­a­gogue con­gre­ga­tion in 1999, af­ter 11 years at the Fed­er­a­tion Syn­a­gogue in Il­ford, Es­sex, and three years at Sale and Dis­trict He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion in Cheshire. He stud­ied at Gateshead Yeshiva where he gained or­di­na­tion, then in Is­rael at Yeshi­vat Mir and later in Manch­ester’s In­sti­tute for Rab­bini­cal Re­search where he gained fur­ther or­di­na­tion. He also has grad­u­ate and post-grad­u­ate de­grees in psy­chol­ogy and coun­selling and Jewish stud­ies. Be­fore or­di­na­tion, he was a bar­ris­ter and a so­lic­i­tor in the City of Lon­don and has writ­ten gen­eral ar­ti­cles as well as sev­eral aca­demic pa­pers.

Tell us about your fam­ily life

My wife Es­ther and I have three chil­dren, aged from 12 to 17 years. As a fam­ily, we like coun­try ac­tiv­i­ties — walks, boat­ing and cy­cling. My own leisure in­ter­ests in­clude mo­tor­cy­cling and amass­ing in­ter­est­ing col­lecta­bles.

Tell us about a typ­i­cal week at the syn­a­gogue

With around 2,200 mem­bers, the typ­i­cal week is a roller­coaster of cel­e­bra­tions, crises, life­cy­cle events, lec­tures, pub­lic-speak­ing slots, ser­vices, man­age­ment meet­ings and in­volve­ment in the wider com­mu­nity.

Tell us what you like most about your role

I love in­ter­act­ing with such a bright, dis­parate and in­ter­est­ing group of peo­ple. I en­joy the in­tel­lec­tual chal­lenges of the role as well as pub­lic speak­ing. I feel that, in a small way, I make a dif­fer­ence to the lives of many peo­ple.

Tell us what you do in your time off

As above, mo­tor­cy­cling and col­lect­ing as well as writ­ing fiction and non-fiction. I like mu­sic and read­ing — mainly his­tory and thrillers. I am in­volved with sev­eral Is­rael char­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly UJIA. I am also in­volved with coun­selling char­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly those that fo­cus on young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies. De­fine your Ju­daism in a dozen words A liv­ing faith en­com­pass­ing a com­pre­hen­sive set of ideals, val­ues and laws by which we can live our lives. I sub­scribe to an open, tol­er­ant and hu­mane ap­pli­ca­tion of the Halacha while re­main­ing com­mited to Tal­mu­dic and later sources.

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