Executive Director - Jon Freedman
Jon began working at FRS in June 2012, organising our community events and membership engagement. In December 2015 he was appointed FRS Executive Director. He grew up in the Reform Movement, on RSY-Netzer camps and at Southport New Synagogue. After graduating from Birmingham University, Jon worked for a year as RSY-Netzer movement worker, and went from there to a four year spell in the Civil Service. He found his way back to working in the Jewish community in 2005, firstly with Clore Shalom school and then at West London Synagogue. Jon and his family enjoy the community support and spirit they gain from being members of FRS.
Kindergarten Head Teacher – Catherine Levy
Before starting at FRS Kindergarten Catherine worked extensively in a management capacity within various theatre organisations. She
took a change in career path and came to work at the Kindergarten almost four years ago bringing with her, her youngest child Saul! She has been in the privileged position of having been both a Kindergarten parent and staff member and has enjoyed both roles enormously. She is delighted to be taking on the role of Kindergarten Head teacher and looks forward to being part of the community as a whole with the rest of her family, her husband Adam and children Scarlett and Saul.
Synagogue Secretary - Suzanne Korn
I recently joined FRS as your Secretary. I grew up in Bradford and was a member of Bradford Hebrew Congregation before moving moved down to London some years ago. It was a lovely school-friend, Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, who introduced me to Reform Judaism and when Student Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen mentioned there was a job going at FRS, it didn’t take long to decide to apply. My background is as a PA/administrator, working for legal firms in the City, an engineering charity, and most recently for Haberdashers Aske’s Boys’ School. At HABS I was responsible for checking that every student was in school every day and helping to organise their many and varied school trips and events in the UK and abroad. I am also working towards a Masters degree, training as a psychotherapist. I am enjoying the studies and the practical work.
Youth and Education Manager – Rachel Fidler
Rachel is in the privileged position of being a professional member of staff as well as a member at FRS. She first started working at FRS helping out in the office, stopping when Dora was born and then again before the birth of Jack. Rachel now supports all areas of life at FRS from organising children's services to helping to arrange all communal events.
Director of Youth, Education and Development - Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu
It is so exciting to be part of Youth, Education and Development, here at FRS. I am really enjoying the role of leading such a talented team of people. My overall aim is for each and every young person to be fully involved in the FRS community and I want us to be a place where they are secure, happy, and growing, as all of us should be, into human beings who acknowledge and respect that we are all made in God’s image.
It is also fantastic to be so directly involved in education here. For me as a rabbi, teaching and learning really is at the heart of my life and my role at FRS gives me the opportunity to focus on education as part of a bigger team. It is a part time role, and I balance my involvement here with being the community rabbi at Kehillah North London, in Stoke Newington, and teaching both Rabbinic Literature and Reflective Practice at Leo Baeck College where I was ordained in 2004. I’m really passionate about communicating the core ideas of Reform Judaism, especially through the written word. I’m also committed to being Jewish within a multicultural community and I am active as a parent governor in my local primary school. I have two daughters, aged 11 and 7, together with my partner Rebekka, who is a musician and composer. In my spare time I love cooking, especially baking, the outdoors, camping, and learning Talmud every day.
There is a lot going on, but I always have time to speak. Please do come and see me or give me a call if you have any thoughts, ideas, or concerns.
FRS has been a huge part of my life for over 10 years. I went to Saturday morning classes to learn for my Bat Mitzvah and then continued to become a madricha which led me to lead on schemes at club and residentials! After doing some part time youth work for FRS in 2012, I continued to complete a Youth Work and Community Development degree at Leeds Beckett. All the work and youth experience FRS gave me is where my passion for youth work comes from and I’m so happy to be back at FRS as the youth worker in this amazing community that has given me so much. I’m so pleased to be working with a great team, a fantastic group of madrichim and an enthusiastic group of chanichim! What better place to start my career in youth work than here at FRS!
I joined the FRS teaching staff in August 2015 as Hebrew coordinator. Through my previous Teaching experience in other Communities, I have reached the realisation that while there is a commitment to Hebrew within the Jewish communities, it is not perceived as an everyday, possibly usable language.As a native speaker (relocated from Israel to London 13 years ago), I feel motivated to transform Hebrew learning, making it a living, breathing language for all age groups within the community.
Since joining FRS, I was thrilled to find a warm, embracing open community which made me, as much as everyone else, welcomed. As an Israeli, it is an eye opening experience to get acquainted with the essence of Reform Judaism as reflected in FRS. Alongside the professional support I enjoy, I have got to know many members of FRS who are warm and welcoming and for that, I am grateful.
Bookkeeper – Debbie Marks
Debbie joined FRS in September 2006 after having worked at the Wolfson Hillel Primary school for nine years. ‘I always said when our sons left school there I would also leave but it took me three years to find something I liked.’ Debbie now works three days a week managing the synagogue’s finances.