Rabbi Shulamit AmabaluWednesday 30 August 2017

Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue is delighted to announce the appointment of Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu to the role of Principal Rabbi.  

Rabbi Ambalu’s appointment completes a lengthy and thorough recruitment process that began earlier this year after an in-depth review of the Community Consultation that took place at the end of 2015.  Following a rigorous and strictly confidential assessment procedure, the Recruitment Team, formed from a wide cross-section of the community, concluded that Rabbi Ambalu fulfils all the qualities that are important in a Principal Rabbi to take our community forward.

Rabbi Ambalu said: “I am delighted to be joining the Sha’arei Tsedek community, and to be bringing my leadership and vision to this wonderful synagogue. I look forward to working closely with members, leaders and colleagues to develop the community itself, the many spiritual and educational opportunities it offers, as well as Sha’arei Tsedek’s role in the wider world”.

Rabbi Ambalu brings a wealth of experience with her with over 12 years in the Rabbinate. Rabbi Ambalu is currently Rabbi at Kehillah North London, and previously served at Milton Keynes Reform Synagogue and as Director of Youth, Education and Development at Finchley Reform Synagogue.

She was ordained in 2004, having spent a happy and successful career in the NHS as a Speech and Language Therapist. Her very first class at Leo Baeck College was Classical Hebrew with Emeritus Rabbi Colin Eimer, an experience she vividly and fondly remembers!

Rabbi Ambalu joins our community at an exciting time in our development.  Over the past few years we have seen a steady growth in membership, particularly families with young children and couples in mixed faith partnerships, who have been drawn to the community because of our inclusive and innovative services and activities.

Richard Woolf, Chair of Sha'arei Tsedek commented: “I am delighted we have appointed Rabbi Ambalu.  It is our belief that her appointment will give our community the spiritual leadership and vision we need to move forward and builds on the legacy of Rabbi Colin Eimer”.

Speaking about the announcement, Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said: “This is an inspired appointment of an erudite, wise and deeply caring rabbi. It's a great match between a fabulous community and an outstanding rabbi”.

Rabbi Ambalu will begin her hew post in January 2018.

Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu

Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu came to the rabbinate after a happy and successful career in the NHS as a Speech and Language Therapist. Her very first class at Leo Baeck College was Classical Hebrew with Rabbi Colin Eimer, an experience she vividly and fondly remembers!

She was ordained in 2004, and since then has served Kehillah North London (formerly North London Progressive Jewish Community) in Stoke Newington. She has combined this part time role with ten years as part time rabbi of Milton Keynes and District Reform Synagogue until December 2014, and more recently, Director of Youth, Education and Development for two very happy years at Finchley Reform Synagogue.

She has also taught at Leo Baeck College for over 12 years, initially specialising in vocational studies, and for the past five years teaching Rabbinic Literature (Mishnah and Talmud) as well as Reflective Practice. She is currently the only member of the Leo Baeck teaching staff to teach on both the academic and vocational programmes, reflecting her love of Jewish learning together with the day to day reality of congregational life.

She has authored several chapters and articles developing a distinctively progressive Jewish approach to halachah and theology, and sees the communication and development of these ideas as absolutely central to her role.

Her partner Rebekka Wedell is a musician, the Director of Music at Kingston Liberal Synagogue, and a composer. They have two daughters, aged 13 and 9, both of whom are active in RSY Netzer. Rabbi Shulamit loves the outdoors, especially camping, and is constantly working to improve her sourdough baking.