About Us

Welcome to Magen Avot - a Shul and community initially setup and supported by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and the United Synagogue (US) in June 2015. We are currently located in the Nancy Reuben Primary School Hall (48 Finchley Lane, London NW4 1DJ). In 2022 the community voted overwhelmingly in favour of the appointment of Rabbi Yoni and Rebbetzen Dina Golker as our Rabbinic couple. This was a major milestone event for Magen Avot and was critical in the continuing development of the kehilla. They took over from Rabbi Joel and Sarah Kenigsberg who returned to Israel in the summer of 2022 having completed their extended time in Magen Avot over the pandemic.

Services on offer for adults and children

  • Friday night
  • Shabbat morning (including a weekly hot Kiddush)
  • Shabbat Mincha and Motzei Shabbat
  • Sunday services for adults and children
  • Providing a full range of programmes and events for all its members and the wider community.

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
  • Supportive of Israel and its national holidays
  • Involvement and encouragement of children and youth
  • Promotion of decorum amongst all adults and children throughout services
  • To support and advocate for the interests of those in need including persecuted groups in the UK and abroad, consistent with Torah principles

Management

  • Chairman: Simon Bentley
  • Vice Chair: Patti Adler
  • Women's Officer: Chaya Langerman
  • Financial Representative: Baruch Zekaria
  • Gabbaim: Elkan Adler and Daniel Ehreich
  • Male Council: David Berke, Julian Maurer, Julian Pollard, and Moshe Langerman
  • Female Council: Sara Spizzichino, Fiona Taylor, Leila Behrman, Tali Diamant, and Tamara Nisner
  • Board of Deputies Representative: Julian Pollard
  • United Synagogue Council Representative: Tali Diamant

Policies

You can find details of United Synagogue policies, including the Complaints Policy at https://www.theus.org.uk/article/united-synagogue-policies

Our Rabbinic Couple: Rabbi Yoni and Rebbetzen Dina Golker were since 2016 the Community Rabbi and Rebbetzen at St John's Wood Synagogue where they were responsible for working with all age-groups within the community in partnership with the senior rabbinical team and the Youth Directors. Rabbi Yoni grew up in Golders Green and spent three years at Yeshivas Beis Yisroel. He is an experienced educator and seasoned public speaker. He is known for his remarkable educational programming and especially his creative virtual programming during the pandemic, where he conducted over 100 interviews with renowned people across the Jewish world, with hundreds of thousands of online views. Prior to joining St John’s Wood Synagogue, Rabbi Golker taught for over a decade at JFS, where he was head of Upper School Jewish Education. Between 2013 and 2016, the Golkers were the directors of the Ezra Youth Movement and oversaw the educational and social provision and vision and direction of the organization. Rabbi Golker is an experienced educator and seasoned public speaker. Rabbi Golker delivers cutting edge educational programming. Between 2008 and 2014, Rabbi Golker was the Youth Director at Dayan Ehrentreu’s Shul. In September 2022, Rabbi Golker took on the role of Deputy Head Teacher and Director of Jewish Life and Learning at Immanuel College. Rebbetzen Dina is a graduate of Michlalah seminary in Jerusalem. She holds a PGDip in Psychological therapy and is a qualified Psychology teacher. Dina is currently a clinical manager at NOA, a charity which supports girls from the Orthodox Jewish community aged 12-24. Dina has a passion for supporting other people and is very much involved in Pastoral care within the community. In the summer of 2022, Dina graduated the Chief Rabbi’s Ma’ayan Programme for Jewish female educators. Rebbetzen Dina studied psychology at undergraduate and postgraduate level, specialising in counselling psychology and is also a qualified secondary school teacher. Rebetzen Dina leads the Babes in the Wood group for mothers and babies at St John’s Wood and also delivered ladies shiurim as part of the Taste of Torah series on selected Shabbat Mornings. Dina is part of the Chief Rabbi’s Maayan Programme for high-level educators for the Jewish community, as well as advisors in the area of Taharat Hamishpacha (laws of family purity) and women’s health issues. The Golkers were responsible for education and programming within the community and worked with that community’s Young Professionals/Young Jewish Network, engaged and newly marrieds and Rabbi Yoni has also organised many of the successful educational programmes for various groupings in the community The Golkers played an active and leading role in local Young United Synagogue events with other US Shuls. Rabbi Yoni also played a full role in lifecycle roles for members of all ages within the community as well as delivering shiurim and classes. The Golkers’ pride and joy are their six children, Yosef, Leila, twin boys: Abie and Gadi, Herschel and Moshe.