Rabbi and Rebbetzen Herszaft appointed as new Rabbinic Couple

Welwyn Garden City (WGC) Hebrew Congregation and Hatfield Jewish Community are delighted to announce that Rabbi Adam Herszaft and Rebbetzen Racheli Herszaft have been appointed as their new Rabbinic Couple after a unanimous vote in their favour following a trial Shabbat with the community. The Herszafts will spend half their time working with the Hatfield Jewish Community, which is part of the United Synagogue’s Community of Potential project, looking to further enhance Jewish life in Hatfield.

Rabbi Adam Herszaft grew up in Edgware and attended Hasmonean High School. He then went on to learn at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh for two years, after which he returned to London to study Geography at LSE. Rabbi Adam found his passion for community through his time as the Youth Director at Kehilat Netzach Yisrael, in addition to leading several trips, including JFS’ ATOI, Camp Simcha’s Kesher and many Bnei Akiva camps.

Rebbetzen Racheli Herszaft was brought up in Hendon and also attended Hasmonean High School. She spent two years at Midreshet Tehillah, fulfilling Madricha responsibilities during her second year there. After this, Racheli returned to London and completed her Psychology degree at the University of Westminster, during which she worked for JLE, Aish, Meor and was the Youth Director at Ner Yisrael in Hendon. This was followed by a TeachFirst qualification at UCL, after which Racheli taught for three years at an underprivileged primary school.

After getting married in 2019, Adam and Racheli moved to Hendon, and there they were Youth Directors at Ner Yisrael until they moved to Jerusalem to join the Mizrachi fellowship programme in August 2020. Adam returned to learn, teach, and obtained Semicha (rabbinic ordination) at Netiv Aryeh and from our colleagues and partners at Mizrachi in Israel through their Musmachim programme, whilst Racheli studied at Matan and taught at Midreshet Tehillah. Rabbi Adam and Rebbetzen Racheli were on the United Synagogue Intern Programme in 2022.

In their spare time, Adam passionately cheers on Arsenal whilst Racheli runs a homemade baking company.

They officially started their roles at the beginning of this week.
Rabbi Adam and Rebbetzen Racheli said: “We are honoured and thrilled to be joining the WGC and Hatfield community. We have been both inspired by the history of the community and excited by its immense potential. Our predecessors have done an incredible job and we feel proud to be part of the next chapter.”

WGC Chair, Stephen Lopes-Dias, said: “I am delighted with the appointment of Rabbi Adam and Rebbetzen Racheli and we are all excited about welcoming them to Welwyn Garden City. I look forward to working closely with them to further develop our growing community.”

Emily Lee and Michael Ajoodan-Poor, co-Chairs of Hatfield Jewish Community, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Adam and Rebbetzen Racheli Herszaft to Hatfield. We have faith in their abilities to guide and support the ever-growing Hatfield Jewish Community. We look forward to sharing this next chapter in our story.”

Jonny Ison, Community Development Manager and Community of Potential Lead at the United Synagogue said: “The Hatfield Jewish Community is very excited to move into its next phase of community growth. Alongside the active working group, the Herszafts will deliver compelling programming to engage more Jews in Hatfield. We are so pleased that our partnership with Mizrachi is bearing such fruit.”

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