10 September 2020
Rabbi Neil Janes is the new rabbi of South Bucks Jewish Community (SBJC).
Neil will take over at SBJC in November, joining the synagogue from his current roles with the Lyons Learning Project and West London Synagogue.
It is a return to Liberal Judaism for Neil, who previously held rabbinic positions at Finchley Progressive Synagogue and The Liberal Jewish Synagogue.
Neil joins SBJC along with his wife Michelle, who is interim co-CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council, and their daughters.
He said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be joining a community with such warmth and enthusiasm and also to be returning to Liberal Judaism.
“Local community is more important than ever and, as the trend of moving out of London to the Home Counties continues, we have exciting opportunities to create meaningful Jewish life for all.”
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, who served South Bucks from 2015 to 2020 and is now interim director of Liberal Judaism, said: “SBJC is an incredible community and a gift for any rabbi, while Rabbi Neil Janes is a gift of a rabbi: a brilliant educator, a caring and compassionate pastor and a passionate leader and a dear friend. It is a wonderful connection.”
High Holy Days services at South Bucks will be conducted (online) by Charley, Neil, Rabbi Pete Tobias and Rabbi Rachel Benjamin, who served the community from 2006 to 2015 and again from March of this year. Rachel will remain with SBJC until the end of September, when she takes up a new appointment.
Sharing the good news with the community’s members, SBJC’s council wrote: “We thank Charley and Rachel for their dedicated service, and wish them and their families all the best for the future, and at the same time extend a very warm welcome to Neil and his family.”
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