The 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, 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.
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.
Daniel Haimov was educated at Yeshivah High School Or Torah, Jerusalem and at Nir Yeshiva, Kiryat Arbah, Teshivat Hesder. He later gained the degree of B.A. in Accounting and Information Systems from Machon Lev, Jerusalem before working for the Israel Tax Authority and later as Insurance Director for the National Insurance Insitute.
Daniel acted as Hazan for his Sephardi synagogue in Jerusalem and has worked as a volunteer for children from distressed families. He speaks fluent Hebrew and English and is engaged to be married. Daniel believes passionately that as Torah is the basis of life, its study is the fulfillment of his dream to become a rabbi.
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 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 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’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.
(The following are not members of the Semicha Course but attend the learning on an informal basis)
Gideon Levy grew up in Borehamwood and attended JFS school before completing his degree in Mathematics at the University of Manchester. Following his graduation in 2014, Gideon worked in Crowdfunding for a small technology start-up company before studying at Yeshivat Aish HaTorah, in Jerusalem.
Gideon is married and works as a Planning Analyst for Ocado. He continues to use his experiences in Crowdfunding to help the Jewish community and has recently fund-raised to publish a collection of essays on the weekly Torah portion.
Elon Nassim was born to parents from the Adani community of Stamford Hill. When still a child, hIs family re-located to Israel where he was educated in the Yeshiva system. After marriage, he studied for the Chief Rabbinate Semicha in Israel and completed exams in Niddah, Eruvin and Mitzvot HaTeluyot Ba’aretz. He also studied Safrut and is a Sofer Stam.
Elon now lives in London and works as a Sofer. Alongside the Semicha studies which he follows informally, he is engaged in supplementing the secular education missed during his religious studies in Israel. Passionate about his learning, Elon hopes eventually to complete the Montefiore Semicha course and then use his knowledge and skills for the benefit of Anglo Jewry.
Bernard Waiman is the oldest person to be learning informally with the Semichah students. Born and bred in London he went to Gateshead Yeshivah and then on to Manchester University to study economics. Later he completed a part time MA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Jews College.
He spent 45 years in business mainly manufacturing in various electrical, lighting and engineering businesses and is now retired.
Bernard has four children three of whom live in Israel and has a number of grandchildren there. He has been involved in many communal activities on a voluntary basis notably Jews College and the Independent Jewish Day school where he was one of the founding governors.