About Us

Rabbi Rebecca Birk

‘A synagogue that is kind to straying feet’. (Conservative Sim Shalom Siddur)

FPS is a Liberal synagogue in Finchley but reaching out across North London with members from Kentish Town to Barnet.

We like to say ‘Come As You Are’. We describe ourselves as a messy synagogue with a soul. We are warm, welcoming and inclusive. We are proud of our beautiful music in services, our informal style which emphasises warmth and intimacy over decorous formality.

We are led by our charismatic Rabbi, Rebecca Birk. Rabbi Rebecca’s intellect, kindness and humour has helped shape our joyful community. She makes every congregant and visitor feel welcome and included. Do come along.

Zoe Jacobs

Alongside her Zoe Jacobs leads on education (from young children to adults) and community development.

We have a great Board who are our lay leaders and trustees and each have areas of focus.

In line with Liberal Judaism we welcome Jews of mixed lineage whether it is their mother or father who are Jewish. Our synagogue is full of mixed families who seek an inclusive and welcoming Jewish community in which to raise their children.

What you can expect in the community:

  • We are committed to creating meaningful Jewish experiences for our members and their families.

  • We celebrate being intergenerational and meeting the needs of all.

  • We work hard to make a difference both within the Jewish community (Tikkun Am) and the wider world (Tikkun Olam). We are proud of our Social Justice work.

  • We are a community who takes responsibility for each other.

  • We raise our young people to be thoughtful, curious and responsible Jews.


Our Rabbis

Rabbi Rebecca Birk

Rabbi Rebecca Birk joined FPS in January 2011, succeeding Rabbi Neil Janes. She has a BA in Theology and Religious Studies from Bristol University and an MA in Jewish and Christian Theology from Harvard Divinity School.  She received ordination in 2001 from Leo Baeck College which trains Liberal and Reform rabbis in the UK.  Before coming to FPS she was rabbi for five years at Woodford Progressive Synagogue and for another six years at Westminster (Independent) Synagogue.  She continues her involvement with HMP Holloway as Jewish Chaplain and contributes regularly to the Jewish and non-Jewish press. Rabbi Birk believes passionately in the care and nurture of all in the the community and she and her children, Ruben, Dora and Rafael are involved in many areas of synagogue life. 

Rabbi Danny Rich

Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism, is a member of FPS and contributes regularly to the rabbinic leadership.

Rabbi Frank Hellner

Emeritus Rabbi Frank Hellner came to our Synagogue from the United States in 1966 and served as our rabbi for 33 years, until his retirement on the eve of the Millennium.

 

 

Our Rabbis


Board

Our Board consists of a volunteer team of around ten members working together for the benefit of the synagogue.  Elected annually, members generally serve a maximum of three years. The Executive consists of the Chairperson, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Honorary Secretary. Information on current Board members can be found here.  


Professional Support

Our Synagogue Manager, Pauline Gusack, oversees many aspects of synagogue administration and premises management. She can be reached on 020 8446 4063 or by email at administrator@fps.org. Angela Wharton works at FPS on Wednesdays using the same email address.

Zoe Jacobs is our Community development manager and looks after volunteers and our outreach programme, as well as our young people's activities. Contact her via zoe@fps.org

Hilary Roer takes care of day-to-day finances and book-keeping; accounts@fps.org.

Dean Staker and Franklyn Gellnick provide the outstanding musical background to many of our events.

Our cleaner Gracielle ensures the building is clean and ready for services and other events.  

We employ a number of enthusiastic, talented teachers and teaching assistants who educate our young people at Ivriah (our Religion School).


Volunteer Support  

Many members work as volunteers, taking responsibility for such areas of community life as Beit Tefillah (Ritual), Adult Education, Ivriah (Religion School), Community Care, Security, Homeless Shelter, Refugee Action, our Twinned Community, representation on the Board of Deputies and various social activities and cultural events.