Our rabbinic ordination took place on Sunday across four synagogues and three countries in the College’s first ever international, live broadcast ceremony. Click here to see the film of our first international ordination. Please share the link with your family and friends.

While Covid-19 has meant that the rabbinic students have been completing their studies remotely, from their homes around the UK and Europe, it has led to a unique opportunity for a very special ordination ceremony.

Our four student rabbis – Dr Tali Artman Partock, Iris Ferreira, Etienne Kerber and Peter Luijendijk were ordained in front of their own home congregations, respectively at Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue, Cambridge; Kehilat Gesher, Paris; Communauté Juive Libérale, Paris; and Liberaal Joodse Gemeente, Amsterdam

Over 500 people logged on to watch the service, led by the College’s Dean and Director of Jewish Studies, Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh and Rabbi Dr Kahn-Harris, Principal of the College from Beit Shalom Reform Synagogue in Cambridge.

Rabbi Dr Kahn-Harris said: “It has been wonderful to share the ordination this year with communities across Europe and to a worldwide audience. It takes five years to train a rabbi but their impact lasts a lifetime. Today our four ordinands join a diverse and inspirational group of Leo Baeck College rabbis who have committed their lives to our community.

“Annually our rabbis officiate at some 500 burials, hundreds of b’nei mitzvot and weddings, conduct more than 3,000 Shabbat day services and some 70 High Holy Day services. More than that they contribute an incalculable amount to the fabric of communal life; we look forward to watching our four news rabbis joining their peers and making their mark.”

Leslie Bergman, Honorary Life President of the European Union for Progressive Judaism commented: “The ordination ceremony is a microcosm of the half century partnership of Leo Baeck College and the EUPJ – to train rabbis to serve in the UK and in Continental Europe. The presence of Progressive Jewish congregations in 17 European countries today is testimony to the success of this partnership.”

Vice-chair of the World Union for Progressive Judaism Phyllis Dorey OAM, speaking on behalf the WUPJ President Rabbi Sergio Bergman and Chair Carole Sterling, congratulated the ordinands and their families.

“Rabbis trained by Leo Baeck College have come from – and work all over world. It is very special for them to be ordained in front of their home congregations, by their own rabbi, with a global audience. We are thrilled to welcome these new rabbis into the WUPJ family, as they become part of the unbroken chain of inspiring and outstanding spiritual leaders with whom we have been blessed, serving our communities in Europe and around the world. “