2019 Rabbinic Provision

Along with Rabbi Chapper and Rabbi Finn, with support from Rabbi Plancey, the following people will be contributing to BES's pastoral and education provision during 2019.

Rebbetzen Eva Chapper

Rebbetzen Eva Chapper

Interim Community Rebbetzen

Rebbetzen Eva Chapper is BES's Interim Community Rebbetzen on a part-time basis. Bringing her tremendous warmth and enthusiasm, Eva is primarily focussed on developing and delivering programmes to enhance the social and educational provision for women in the community.

Rabbi Alan Garber

Rabbi Alan Garber

Interim Pastoral Rabbi

Rabbi Garber has been Rabbi of the Shenley United Jewish Community since 2013. Originally from Kenton and a graduate from Leeds University, he gained Semicha (rabbinical ordination) from Dayan Osher Westheim at Gateshead Yeshiva. Together with his wife Tanya, his first position as a rabbi was in Leeds as the University Jewish Chaplain serving over 1,000 Jewish university students in the Yorkshire region. Rabbi Garber then moved to Sydney, Australia for three years as the Associate Rabbi of the Great Synagogue. As well as serving as the rabbi for Shenley United Jewish Community for the past five years, Rabbi Garber has been teaching Jewish studies part-time at Sinai Primary School and more recently at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School. Rabbi Garber is also currently the Jewish Chaplain to Watford General Hospital and studying towards a post graduate diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Rabbi Garber enjoys outdoor pursuits and keeping fit. He has climbed Mt Blanc, run the London Marathon and completed the Sydney City to Surf fun run four times.

Rabbi Levi and Shternie Goldgrab

United Synagogue Communities of Potential – East Borehamwood

Rabbi Goldgrab was born and raised in the city of Brooklyn, New York, studying in local yeshivot. After graduating high school, he travelled to Israel where he spent three years furthering his studies in Shaarei Chessed, Jerusalem. He subsequently moved back to America and studied at and received Semicha and Dayanut from the Rabbinical College of America. During that time, Rabbi Goldgrab also participated in volunteer opportunities, assisting Rabbis in various locations around the world, including Thailand, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico. He met his wife Shternie in Brooklyn, where they lived for two years, before moving to the UK. They currently reside in Borehamwood with their baby son Dovber. Rabbi Goldgrab’s passion is learning new things and connecting with new people. Shternie Goldgrab (neé Rapoport) was born in Leeds. Her family later moved to Ilford where her father assumed the position of Rabbi at Beehive Lane United Synagogue. She attended high school in North West London. She then furthered her studies in seminary in Tzfat, Israel and Brooklyn, New York. Upon returning to the UK, she received a BS(c) honours in Psychology with the Open University and a QTS (qualified teachers degree) with the London School of Jewish Studies. She followed her passion of teaching and taught in Cambridge, Belgravia and then three years at Beit Shvidler Primary School. Shternie then moved to New York, where she met her husband Levi and had their baby boy Dovber. They now live in Borehamwood. She enjoys teaching children and building relationships.

Rabbi Dov and Freda Kaplan

Rabbi Dov and Freda Kaplan

Community Scholars 2019

Rav Dov and Freda Kaplan have enjoyed being a Rabbinic couple for 30 years, in four different communities: Cali, Colombia, Kibbutz Beit Rimon, Caesarea, Israel and finally until a few months ago at Hampstead Garden Suburb. Rav Dov studied for his Rabbinic ordination at Yeshivat HaKotel, for a BA in Talmud at Bar Ilan University, and while in England for his MA in Jewish education from Middlesex University and LSJS. Freda is a social worker and medical clown. The Kaplans now live in Tekoa near Jerusalem.

Rabbi Gideon Sylvester

Rabbi Gideon Sylvester

Community Scholar

Rabbi Gideon Sylvester grew up in London where he was immensely inspired by Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy of the Spanish and Portuguese Community, Rabbi Dr Micky Rosen of Yakar and Emeritus Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. He spent eight years studying in Yeshiva, first at Yeshivat Hamivtar, then in Yeshivat Har Etzion and finally in the Kolel Dati Leumi in the old city of Safed. He also holds a degree in History and a Master's Degree in Education. Rabbi Sylvester 's first post was at Radlett United Synagogue. He later moved to Israel and is now the United Synagogue's Israel Rabbi. This involves visiting, teaching and mentoring the hundreds of young Brits who come to Israel for a year on youth movement, yeshiva or seminary programmes. Rabbi Sylvester is also in close contact with the young students from JFS and King David School, Liverpool who come to Israel on the biannual three-month Lavi Schemes. He visits them monthly bringing religious inspiration and a British flavor to the programme. In addition to his work for the United Synagogue, Rabbi Sylvester has acted as an Adviser on Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel. He is also extremely active in the field of Judaism and Human Rights. Rabbi Sylvester has a monthly blog at the English website of Haaretz newspaper and frequently contributes to the JC and Jerusalem Post.