RABBI DOVID COHN

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE -

NORTH HEN­DON ADATH YIS­ROEL SYN­A­GOGUE

The rabbi serv­ing the North Hen­don com­mu­nity for six years was ed­u­cated at Meno­rah Pri­mary and Hasmo be­fore study­ing for a com­puter science de­gree at Im­pe­rial Col­lege. Shortly af­ter his fi­nals he mar­ried his wife Soro and joined the Yeshivas Ma’alos Hato­rah in Jerusalem to study for semicha. His wife, who is from Manch­ester, is a grad­u­ate of the Gateshead Sem­i­nary

Tell us about a typ­i­cal week at the syn­a­gogue

Apart from the stan­dard weekly shi­urim and learn­ing pro­grammes that I ei­ther over­see, con­trib­ute to or run, I help and ad­vise board mem­bers with the help of my two war­dens. The shul has a great mix of young cou­ples and older mem­bers. We have an ac­tive web­site and pro­duce weekly news­let­ters. We also run many ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the week, along with an ac­tive Yeshiva, and on Shab­bat we have amaz­ing pro­grammes for chil­dren. We be­lieve strongly in build­ing the com­mu­nity from the bot­tom up, which means we now have pro­grammes cater­ing for as many peo­ple as we can ac­com­mo­date. We have spent a lot more time re­cently fo­cus­ing on women, with pro­grammes such as an Oneg Shab­bat and tar­geted shi­urim.

Tell us what you like most about your role

The op­por­tu­nity to en­cour­age as many peo- ple as pos­si­ble to come to our shul re­gard­less of back­ground or level of re­li­gios­ity. I es­pe­cially like it when peo­ple who have never been to our shul be­fore, come inside and are wel­comed by a warm and friendly mem­ber­ship. We are what you would call a “fun and friendly” se­ri­ous shul.

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a very hands-on fa­ther both with the house­work and es­pe­cially with the chil­dren. I don’t think of my­self as a mod­ern “new” man, but put sim­ply, my wife and my­self man­age re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to­gether. We do en­joy get­ting away for short breaks, but al­ways with the chil­dren who are still at home with us. I am a keen hill walker and chess player.

De­fine your Ju­daism

Ev­ery­one’s Ju­daism is to live a life of pu­rity as de­fined by our To­rah.

Nom­i­nate a rabbi for this col­umn:

com­mu­nity@thejc.com

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