Kingston Liberal Synagogue appoints Rabbi Lev Taylor

22 May 2024 – 14 Iyyar 5784

Rabbis Lev and Rene cut the cake

Rabbi Lev Taylor has been appointed as the new rabbi of Kingston Liberal Synagogue, taking over from Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel.

The KLS community celebrated with a very well-attended installation service and party.

Rabbi Lev (pictured cutting his welcome cake alongside Rabbi René) said: “Kingston’s reaction to my appointment has been so wonderfully warm. René has served them brilliantly, and leaves a community that combines a strong sense of Jewish tradition with a progressive and modern outlook. I am so excited to join this very special synagogue.”

The event gave the Kingston community their first opportunity to experience one of Rabbi Lev’s Shabbat services. Leading alongside Rabbi René, he read the Torah and delivered an engaging and participative sermon.

Taking place on the morning of the Eurovision Song Concert, Rabbi Lev ended the service with the Israeli 1979 winning entry Hallelujah – accompanied by Rabbi René and KLS Co-Chair Craig Simmons in song on the Bimah, and Co-Chair Rebecca Singerman-Knight on piano.

Rebecca said: “We are really sad to be saying goodbye to Rabbi René who has led our congregation for seven years, but we are very excited for Rabbi Lev to be joining us. It was wonderful to get a glimpse of what his services will be like on Shabbat morning – there is a lot of excitement at KLS about the future.”

Rabbi Lev Taylor was ordained by Leo Baeck College in 2022 and previously served Oaks Lane Reform Synagogue. He is a Co-Founder of Queer Yeshiva and recently wrote for the Jewish News on the history and importance of LGBT+ inclusion in Progressive Judaism. Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel is moving to become the new minister of Maidenhead Synagogue.

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