About Us

Welcome to Magen Avot - a Shul and community initially setup and supported by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and the United Synagogue (US). We are currently located in the Nancy Reuben Primary School Hall (48 Finchley Lane, London NW4 1DJ). The community recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of the appointment of Rabbi and Rebbetzen Kenigsberg as the Rabbinic couple for Magen Avot. This was a major milestone event for Magen Avot and was critical in the continuing development of the kehilla.

Rabbi Joel and Sarah Kenigsberg arrived in the UK from Jerusalem in September 2018 as Shlichim of Mizrachi UK. They are active educators in the community – for the past year Rabbi Kenigsberg has taught in Hasmonean Boys’ High School and is involved in a number of projects and shiurim throughout the community in shuls and in private homes. Sarah has been working as a tutor of sciences in Hasmonean. For 5 months they served as the scholar-in-residence Rabbi and Rebbetzin at Tsur Yisrael (The Gibraltar Minyan). Both their Torah content and personable nature made them a popular couple with the community, with whom they still maintain close ties.

Rabbi Kenigsberg grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa before making Aliyah after high school. He studied in Yeshivot for thirteen years, during which time he received his semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. At Yeshivat HaKotel, Rabbi Kenigsberg took part in the Hesder program of joint Yeshiva study and IDF service, and was also a shoel u’meishiv for the International students program. He then studied at Eretz Hemdah where he graduated from Manhigut Toranit – a five-year post-Semicha program developing Rabbinic leadership for communities around the world. In addition to five years of intensive Beit Midrash study, the program included certification in public speaking, mediation and counselling, as well as courses specializing in the Halachic aspects of fertility treatment and health issues from the renowned Puah Institute.

Rabbi Kenigsberg has a B.Ed from Lifshitz College of Education and a Master’s degree in Science and Halacha from Bar-Ilan University, both of which he completed with distinction. He takes a special interest in the interface of Halacha with the modern world and has written and presented extensively on this topic, including at the recent prestigious conference of European Rabbis in Antwerp.

Sarah grew up in Manchester, where she was very active in Bnei Akiva growing up. After high school she studied for a year in Midreshet Orot in Elkanah and then made Aliyah. She completed the Mechina program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and then studied in Bar-Ilan, where she received a BSc. and MSc. Degree (Cum Laude) in Chemistry. Subsequently she worked as an organic chemist at Merck, an international biotech company in Har Hotzvim. Whilst in England, Sarah has enjoyed playing a more communal role both with Mizrachi and with her work in Hasmonean. She is also a certified kallah teacher and underwent extensive training in communal leadership through the Manhigut Toranit program.

They have also recently been appointed Rabbinical Shlichim for Bnei Akiva UK.

The Kenigsbergs have two children – Yonatan and Tsofia.

Services on offer

Magen Avot provides Friday night, Shabbat morning (including a weekly hot Kiddush), Shabbat Mincha and Motzei Shabbat, and Sunday services for adults and children. This will be extended to include the full complement of weekday services once we are in our permanent home. Magen Avot is committed to providing a full range of programmes and events for all its members.

Our ethos

  • Modern, orthodox, inclusive community that is welcoming to all
  • Provision of opportunities for learning that are both intellectually and spiritually stimulating
  • Promotion of women’s involvement and ways of making women feel included within halachic guidelines set out by the United Synagogue and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
  • Promotion of good decorum in shul
  • Supportive of Israel and its national holidays
  • Involvement and encouragement of children and youth

Organisers

Chairman

Jonny Solomon

Vice Chairperson

Simon Leigh

Women's Officer

Chaya Langerman

Financial Representative

Cecil Taitz

Gabbaim

Elkan Adler and Daniel Ehreich

Council Members

Adam Kay, Alison Solomon, David Berke, Esther Bentley, Joseph Leigh, Julian Maurer, Moshe Langerman, Patti Adler, Sara Spizzichino, Shoina Kass