About Us

Shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah

FPS is a Jewish community in Finchley whose aim is to reach out to all those who are seeking a Jewish life with liberal values. We recognise the reality of modern life and welcome not only Jews but also their partners and families, and all those who seek a Jewish connection and positive Jewish experiences.

We are a proud affiliate of Liberal Judaism. FPS offers a flexible yet traditional approach to services and is there for everyone at whatever stage of life, offering education, activities and lifecycle events based on our Liberal Jewish beliefs.

Our values:

  • Inclusive – proud to welcome families and households of all shapes and sizes, along with those who join on their own.

  • Social justice – driven by a belief in tikkun olam, we organise our members to contribute to the wider community.

  • We value people and are interested in them – strong relationships and a sense of belonging form the foundation of our kehilla kedosha (holy community).

  • Learning and rites of passage for all ages – from our religion school through to weekly study for the retired, we believe in the beauty of life-long Jewish learning and conversation.

  • Principled, informed by Jewish teaching – we are passionately egalitarian and inclusive (we follow Liberal Judaism’s commitment to recognising as Jewish all those with any Jewish parentage).


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


Council

Our Council 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 Council members can be found here.  


Professional Support

Our Synagogue Manager, Pauline Gusack, oversees many aspects of synagogue administration. She can be reached on 020 8446 4063 or by email at admin@fps.org.

Gabriel Webber is our Community development manager and looks after volunteers and our outreach programme, as well as our young people's activities. Contact him via gabrielwebber@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.

Nicola Marzell prepares delicious lunches on Thursdays and caters other events including kiddushim (snacks following services).   

Howard Hamerton manages the premises and Sergei Bib ensures they are 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.