Current Semicha Students

David Hazan

davidhazanThe youngest of our current students, David Hazan attended the Hasmonean School, London, before spending two and a half years at Yeshivat Mikdash Melech in Jerusalem. Since his return to London, he has been actively involved in the Sephardi community as a Hazan and Baal Koreh, and in education. He is currently teaching at the Naima Jewish Preparatory School and simultaneously reading for a B.A. degree at the London School of Jewish Studies, with the aim of qualifying as a Jewish Studies teacher.

Alexander Goldberg

alexandergoldbergAlexander Goldberg, a barrister and human rights activist, works on community-development projects in the UK and internationally. He is married with two children.

Alex is the Jewish Chaplain at Surrey University and an Olympic Games Chaplain. He chairs the Football Association’s Faith Group. Amongst his many activities, he founded the Rene Cassin Human Rights Group, developed their leadership programme and is their regular UN representative; and has also advised the UK Government and US State Department on issues connected with education and community relations.

Glen Bezalel

Glenn Bezalel is head of Religion, Philosophy & Ethics at St Helen’s School for Girls. A graduate of both Yeshivot Kerem B’Yavneh and Har Etzion (Gush), he holds Master’s degrees in International Relations from LSE and in Religious Education from UCL, and is currently studying for a Ph.D in Education at Cambridge University. Prior to teaching, Glenn was an Equity Research Analyst at JP Morgan. He is married with five children.

Dean Shannon

Dean Shannon graduated from Hasmonean High School and attended Yeshiva Ruach Chaim. Subsequently he obtained a BSc in Psychology from the University of Birmingham before returning to Israel to study in the Centre Programme at Yeshiva Ohr Samaech.
Dean obtained a Post Graduate certificate in education (PGCE) and is now teaching Jewish Studies at Yavneh College. He is married to Talya.

James Mindell

James Mindell grew up in Finchley and attended City of London School for Boys before learning at Yeshivat Har Etzion for two years. Now in his final year at university, James is studying Economics and Business at UCL and will be starting his Finance job in the Civil Service Fast Stream next year. James, his wife Judith and baby Netanel currently live in Pinner where they are Youth Directors.

Yechezkel Mandelbaum aka Thomas Ambuehl

Yechezkel Mandelbaum grew up in a mountain farmer’s family in the Swiss Alps. After discovering his Jewish roots during his Theology studies at the University of Basel, he learned at various institutions in Israel and subsequently became a private student and personal assistant of the Admor mi Biale, at that time community rabbi of Lugano Switzerland. Yechezkel completed a BA Hons and MA in Musicology at Oxford-Brookes University. He is married and has 5 children.

Yechezkel established a foundation for at risk teenagers from religious families and supported their recreational programmes under Rabbi Avraham Novick in the Swiss Alps.
Alongside his work as an accomplished painter, arranger and composer of Jewish instrumental and choral music, Yechezkel has a keen interest in serving small communities as a lay minister and did so for the last three years in Cheltenham. He has an open house and heart for seekers of true spirituality and hopes to assist individuals to take step by step on their personal journey towards a meaningful, heartfelt, and life-fulfilling Jewishness.

Yechezkel was appointed Rabbi of the Kingston and District United Synagogue in February 2018.

Claude Vecht-Wolf

claudewolfClaude Vecht-Wolf was educated at Hasmonean and JFS. He obtained a BA (Hons) degree in Business Studies, an MA in Human Resources and a Post Graduate Diploma in Jewish Studies at Jews’ College. After establishing a computer training centre for the disabled at Jewish Care, he qualified as an IT teacher and taught at a number of schools including Yavneh College. He currently works at the Association of Jewish Refugees as Co-ordinator of a project that allocates volunteers to refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe, with the purpose of providing them with computer tuition in their homes. Claude is involved with Bushey United Synagogue and often leads services. He has recently been a Scholar in Residence at Wembley Sephardi Synagogue and in Redbridge United Synagogue and serves as a Mashgiach for the Bushey Eruv.

Oren Yefet

Oren’s upbringing was in Stamford Hill’s Adeni Jewish Community. He studied at Hasmonean High School and commenced his serious Jewish learning within its Beis Programme, run in Ner Yisroel, Hendon. Now an engineering graduate from Cambridge University, he works on construction sites in London where he manages works for super high-end projects.

Naaman (Michael) Adler

Michael Adler grew up in Frankfurt am Main and was educated at the Lessing High School. After obtaining a B. Sc. in Physics in Frankfurt he moved to Berlin where he took a Master’s degree in nanophotonics, while at the same time studying at Yeshivas Beis Zion (Lauder Yeshiva) and teaching a weekly shiur on Pirke Avot.

Michael moved to London three years ago to work at a computing company. He is married with a baby (Chezkie), davens in the Golders Green Beis Hamedrash (aka Munk’s) and teaches higher-level Mishna and Gemara.

Harris Bor

Harris Bor is a barrister practising in the areas of international arbitration, and commercial and company litigation, with a particular emphasis on corporate, joint venture, civil fraud and banking disputes. He is a yeshiva graduate, and has an LLM from London University in international comparative dispute resolution, a PhD from Cambridge University in religion and intellectual history, and has been a teaching assistant at Harvard University. Harris has taught many courses covering Jewish history and thought at the London School of Jewish Studies and elsewhere. He is married with 4 children.

Yosef Gabai

Yosef Gabai was born in Israel and attended yeshva there before studying accountancy. He lives in London and has owned as wholesale bakery business for the past 18 years,
Yosef is married with four children, all at school. He was largely responsible for establishing a Sephardi community in Stamford Hill, where he founded and runs the Ohel Shalom Synagogue on Clapton Common.


In attendance

(The following are not members of the Semicha Course but attend the learning on an informal basis)

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