Liberal Judaism has appointed Rabbi Charley Baginsky (right) as Chief Executive Officer, with Shelley Shocolinsky-Dwyer (left) becoming Chief Operating Officer. Both will take up their positions in January 2021.
Charley and Shelley have been Interim Directors of the movement since March 2020 – overseeing a highly successful period including a record-breaking Biennial Weekend and the moving of all of Liberal Judaism’s events, services and festival celebrations online in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Welcoming the appointments, Liberal Judaism Chair Ruth Seager said: “In the face of the troubling times for society around us, Liberal Judaism has flourished under Charley and Shelley’s leadership. These appointments will now ensure an even stronger and more secure future for our movement.
“Charley is a brilliant leader and speaker, inspiring our congregations and raising Liberal Judaism’s profile in the media and wider world. Shelley is the backbone of what we do, providing a meticulous oversight and making sure everything operates smoothly.”
Charley has spent her life in Liberal Judaism: attending and leading in youth movement LJY-Netzer, studying for the rabbinate at Leo Baeck College and serving communities including Kingston Liberal Synagogue and South Bucks Jewish Community. Before being appointed Interim Director, she was Liberal Judaism’s Director of Strategy and Partnerships.
Shelley has a wealth of financial and administrative skills, an excellent grip on a range of statutory issues and, as Liberal Judaism’s longest serving director level member of staff, her track record of excellence and loyal service to the movement is second to none.
Charley said: “I feel honoured to be given this opportunity to shape the direction of Liberal Judaism, to raise up multiple voices, increase collaboration and find new opportunities to ensure Liberal Judaism is the home for everyone’s Jewish story.
“This is not a journey that I take alone. I am always empowered by the knowledge and support Shelley and the Liberal Judaism staff team provide, the vision and leadership of our Rabbis and dedicated Board of National Officers and, of course, the innovation of Rabbi Danny Rich and all those who held this position before me.”
Responsibility for the religious voice of Liberal Judaism will rest with the Council of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors and its new co-chairs Rabbi Rebecca Birk and Rabbi Dr Rene Pfertzel.
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