About Us

The Team

RABBI MARC & REBBETZEN LISA LEVENE

Rabbi Marc and Lisa Levene have been the Rabbi and Rebbetzen of Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue since summer 2022, having previously served at Belmont United Synagogue for nearly six years. Prior to that, they served as the assistant Rabbinic couple at HGSS.

Rabbi Levene, raised in Borehamwood, attended Watford Grammar School for Boys and JFS. He embarked on a transformative gap year in Israel with FZY in 2000. Pursuing Community and Youth Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, he earned a BA (Hons) and a Diploma in Youth Work from the National Youth Agency (NYA). After working at Golders Green’s Clubhouse for troubled teenagers, he spent six years (2005-2011) at Jerusalem’s Darche Noam Yeshivah (Shapell’s). There, he met his wife Lisa and married in 2007. A passionate singer, he’s graced smachot and Trafalgar Square stages. He avidly supports Liverpool Football Club and contributes to the Official Club Fan Forum for ED&I. He serves on the Executive of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue.

Lisa’s role at HGSS blends professionalism, innovation, humour and warmth. Her love for people is evident in her teaching, hospitality and pastoral care. She’s a graduate of the Ner L’Elef training program, the Bradfield program run by LSJS, the Chief Rabbi’s Ma’ayan programme and an international group of mentors (Core MMC). Additionally, she is a certified teacher for kallot (brides). She also has over 25 years of experience in HR, business development and consulting. With a Master’s degree in business psychology, she turns visions into realities. Her passion for people drives her to make a difference, empowering and bringing out the best in everyone at HGSS.

Together they have four beautiful daughters – Rachel, Miri, Ruthie and Rivka.

Rabbi Luis & Rebbetzen Jodie herszaft

Rabbi Luis Herszaft grew up in Edgware and has had a long-standing passion for communal work. From a young age he was involved in numerous Jewish communal organisations, particularly working with youth and young families. He studied at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh in Israel as part of the Mizrachi UK Rabbinic Fellowship Programme.

Rebbetzen Jodie Herszaft grew up in Bushey, attended the Royal Masonic School for Girls and then spent a year in Israel at Midreshet Tehillah Seminary. She studied Psychology at City University and completed her Counselling Diploma in Israel. Jodie is passionate about the need for female Jewish education and accordingly undertook the Matan and Mizrachi Lapidot Women’s Educator Training Programme, with further studies at other institutions in Jerusalem.

They have 2 children, Yehuda and Aharon.

Chazan Avromi & Rochelle Freilich

Avromi is a pillar of strength and compassion in the lives of many. For the past three decades, he has led all Shabbat and Yom Tov services with his captivating voice, rich in warmth and timbre, inspiring congregants to join in prayer with fervour. Beyond his spiritual leadership, Avromi is a beacon of guidance for countless bar mitzvah students, mentoring them with wisdom and care. With years of experience at the shul, he possesses a profound understanding of life’s milestones, both joyous and sombre. He’s also a qualified paediatric speech and language therapist.

Rochelle has an Advanced Diploma in integrative counselling MBACP specialising in grief and bereavement and couples therapy. She is is a passionate Jewish educator who prides herself on making Torah relevant in contemporary times. Rochelle gives a weekly sedra thought to a group every Friday. ⁠Rochelle is an MEP and Bradfield graduate inspiring brides to be and bat mitzvah girls with whom she forges long lasting relationships.

Together, Avromi and Rochelle help lead the pastoral and welfare efforts of the community ensuring that no one feels alone in their struggles and extending warmth and support to those in need. Their family home is a warm and welcoming place, where they, along with their children and grandchildren, create a cosy atmosphere filled with laughter and unique Shabbat and YomTov cuisine fostering cherished memories for all.