Nottingham Liberal Synagogue

Tanya Sakhnovich was appointed full-time Rabbi of Nottingham Liberal Synagogue (formerly NPJC) in 2009. Rabbi Tanya was born in Minsk, Belarus. In 1998, she graduated from the Belarusian State Pedagogical University with an MA (Music and History of Art) having studied and taught there for 8 years. She was then involved in co-ordinating community and education programmes for the World Union of Progressive Judaism in both Minsk and Moscow. In 2004, she moved to London to study for the rabbinate at Leo Baeck College and moved to Nottingham Liberal Synagogue after her ordination.

Her friendly and warm personality has strengthened NLS’s reputation as a lively, hospitable place where members feel very much part of the community. Along with her thoughtful and intellectual approach goes with a sense of fun and love of music and these form a potent combination! Her activities and enterprise have resulted in the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of the community today.

Rabbi Tanya has a strong commitment to nurturing and developing young people, and as a result, the Cheder is flourishing. As a parent herself, she understands just how important it is to help the children develop their sense of a strong and positive Jewish identity, especially in a relatively small Jewish community based in the East Midlands.

Through her love of music she has introduced more musicality and singing into NLS services, along with educational sessions such as Torah Breakfasts and Brunch with the Rabbi sessions. Much of her work is pastoral, frequently out visiting members who might need or appreciate seeing her. She welcomes the opportunity to talk with prospective members, or those who want to explore whether Liberal Judaism is right for them, including mixed-faith couples.

Under her leadership, the profile of Nottingham Liberal Synagogue has also risen within the wider Nottinghamshire community. As a member of the Nottingham Citizens Advisory Board, NLS has had a strong visible presence on several social action projects including the Living Wage Campaign.

Rabbi Tanya is a member of the High Sheriff’s Committee of Nottingham, a Jewish chaplain to Rampton Hospital and the Trust and a member of the Crown Court Panel on domestic violence against women.

She is also co-founder of a weekly Jewish-Muslim project called Salaam-Shalom kitchen (Sash), which will be celebrating its first anniversary at the end of May 2016.

When she gets time, Rabbi Tanya’s outside interests include the piano, reading, music, art, theatre and sporting activities with her son.