The Seed Team

Education Team

Rabbi Joey Grunfeld

Rabbi Grunfeld is the raconteur, the story teller, the visionary and the Talmudic scholar

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all rolled into one – combining wit and wisdom in equal measure. Somehow or another he straddles all worlds. At home in the bastions of Torah learning “far from the madding crowd” and equally at ease chatting amiably with captains of commerce and industry.

He is the founder and National Director of Seed. For over 40 years it has been his vocation to share the richness of authentic Judaism with a new generation.

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Rabbi Malcolm Herman

Rabbi Herman’s introduction to Seed in 2001 heralded a new era for the

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 organisation. Malcolm, who holds a law degree from the LSE had previously spent five years as the Community Director of the Whitefield Synagogue in Manchester.

After joining Seed as Director of Programmes, Rabbi Herman was the catalyst for the expansion of the organisation in London and Manchester. A much loved lecturer and parenting expert, known for his creativity and down-to-earth approach, Rabbi Herman is now Seed’s Associate National Director. He is also co-author of the parenting guidebook ‘Everyday Parenting for Everyday Parents’.

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Rabbi Gary Bazak

Rabbi Gary, a former Deputy Head Boy at JFS, has a BSc Hons in Chemistry

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 with Physics. He brings with him many years of experience in Jewish education both in Israel and in the UK and has launched and taught various student programmes.

Together with his wife Tanya, Rabbi Bazak works primarily on the Wohl Family Education Programme in Jewish primary schools.

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Rabbi Dov Birnbaum

After spending a number of years studying and teaching in Israel,  Rabbi Birnbaum joined us in 2015

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as Rabbi of the Seed Shul. He has a wealth of experience teaching at the highest level. He is passionate about halacha and is the voice at the end of our halacha hotline.

He has a diploma in community leadership and Jewish education and under his leadership the shul has more than doubled in size. Rabbi Birnbaum has also recently created an educational consultancy together with Rebbetzen Tehilla.

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Rebbetzen Tehilla Birnbaum

Rebbetzen Tehilla has mentored, taught and guided different ages and stages over the last 16 years. From teens to post-graduates to families,

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she is able to connect to them all. She is an experienced marriage and family counsellor and life coach. Her natural charm and charisma coupled with her dynamic educating skills make her a real asset to our team.

Tehilla and her husband Rabbi Birnbaum lead the thriving Seed Shul which has doubled in size over the past five years. Focused on community development and pastoral care, they are passionate and dedicated to their shul members and to Seed’s vision.

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Rabbi Dovid Simcha Cohen

Dovid Simcha is Seed’s One2One co-ordinator. For over 15 years he

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has been studying Torah at the highest level. This has included many years in some of the most prestigious institutions in the Jewish world including Gateshead and Mir.

Currently he is a member of Edgware’s Kollel Beis Aharon where he is known for his ability to combine high standards in his learning with great wit! – A perfect combination for One2One!

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Rebbetzen Joanne Dove

Rebbetzen Joanne Dove joined Seed in 2006. After moving to the UK in the early 90s, she

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and her husband Rabbi Jonathan Dove, were university chaplains, first in Leeds and then London. Rebbetzen Joanne also spent many years running the women’s programmes in the JLE in Golders Green.

Nowadays Rebbetzen Joanne is a senior educator at Seed, utilising her wealth of experience, endless energy and vibrant personality to run women’s educational programmes and trips including the LINKS bat mitzvah programme for mothers and daughters. She is a mother, daughter, grandmother, mentor, sister, teacher and confidante to many, guiding them through life’s challenges.

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Rabbi Adam Edwards

Rabbi Edwards has led a varied life over the past decade at Seed.  From being a pioneer in the original

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partnership with the United Synagogue in Bushey, to working with the Borehamwood community, to then developing a brand new programme of parent education for JFS parents, Rabbi Edwards has developed a wealth of experience in family education.

Now working within Seed HQ, he is instrumental in the Seed Poland and Israel trips, One2One and home group learning, and is a driving force in turning educational dreams into reality.  He has an MA from the University of London in Jewish Education.

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Rabbi Daniel Fine

Rabbi Fine is Seed’s Schools Director for London. After 12 years in Israel, he spent the last five years teaching sixth-form at

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Hasmonean and as Stanmore Synagogue’s community rabbi, attracting a record number of young families to the shul. His wife Janine is from Manchester and the couple live in Edgware with their five children.​

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Mrs Elisheva Fisher

Elisheva was born and raised in Hendon but spent nearly nine years in the holy land of Israel.

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 She came back to England in 2018 having decided that it was time to start using her talents and investing her skills within the Anglo-Jewish community.

She loves teaching and learning and is in her element interacting and socialising with people.  Being a trained and practising psychotherapist and being involved in the Seed educational team makes a busy but satisfying life for Elisheva.

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Rabbi Shaya Grunfeld

Rabbi Shaya is immediately recognisable by his warmth and energy. He is

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Director of Seed Manchester, responsible for the overall management of the team and all operations. He is also an engaging senior lecturer and a professional counsellor with a sought-after private practice.

He and his wife Kayla, a popular kallah teacher, run a busy and inspiring home and regularly share their lively Shabbat table.

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Rabbi Avraham Hassan

Rabbi Hassan is the educator’s educator and has a long list of

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illustrious students including Rabbi Akiva Tatz – no less! For over two decades he ran the One to One programmes in the north of England and lectured on our seminars.

More recently, as well as being seed North’s Senior Rabbinic Advisor, he gives classes on ‘The Everyday and The Esoteric’, opening mystical texts to the modern mind.

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Mrs Carmel Herman

Carmel is a highly experienced educator with over 25 years’

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experience. She trained formally in Israel for 4 years to teach in secondary school. Since then she has taught in primary schools in London and Manchester.

She was Jewish studies governor for many years in King David primary school in Manchester and was instrumental in curriculum development. More recently she has specialised in informal adult education – both One2One and groups. She partnered Malcolm in their years in Whitefield where she became legendary for her warmth, sensitivity and sincerity.

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Rabbi Aron Litwin

Rabbi Aron Litwin brings tremendous warmth to the educational team.

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After attaining semicha in the Jerusalem Kollel he received his MA from Middlesex University alongside a diploma in Psychotherapy.

Rabbi Aron, as he is fondly known, is a talented educator with an incredible ability to connect with people. Together with his wife Sheva they are passionate about sharing the beauty of a meaningful Jewish life. He is a hands-on daddy to four gorgeous girls and when he isn’t gardening or doting on his fish tank, he is busy developing an array of exciting programmes for the Manchester centre.

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Mrs Debbie Rosenberg

Debbie, the ultimate perfectionist, joined the Seed team in 2004 with a

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background in Fine Art. She created Babies & Bagels and continues to lead our Partytime Shabbat programme for mums and under 5s.

Whilst still fulfilling this role, Debbie’s responsibilities have expanded as an educator to include running practical parenting groups and designing Seed’s publications and resources – notably our events flyers and the website.

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Rabbi Samuel Ross

Rabbi Ross has a unique way of bringing Judaism to life. His passionate and dynamic style

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made he and his wife, Rebbetzin Gila, legends in their previous posts in Berlin, Calgary and Vancouver.

Since the Ross family arrived in Manchester they have seen record attendances for their family education programmes in King David and North Cheshire primary schools. Rabbi Ross’s signature learning groups are Monday nights for men and Tefillin Thursdays, both which are well-attended and full of energy.

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Rebbetzen Gila Ross

Rebbetzen Gila’s vibrant, positive and relatable style make her a well-sought after and much loved educator.

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She has a passion for sharing the joy and relevance of Judaism and for ​positive parenting. Her Power Up! podcast has several weekly episodes and was listed in a Top 20 of Jewish podcasts worldwide, allowing listeners to access her wisdom and inspiration in their own time.

The Ross family’s open and fun-filled home makes it a top destination for families wishing to celebrate Shabbat and the chagim.​

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Hannah Sher

Hannah is the Early Years educator for Seed Manchester, running Babies & Bagels

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and Partytime Shabbat. She is currently finishing an MSc in Clinical and Health Psychology and has two children, Shmuel and Rosie who keep her on her toes!

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Sarah Silkin New (1)

Mrs Sarah Silkin

Sarah is a proud mummy to a lovely family, with a passion to teach and sing about Judaism.

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She has lived in wonderful communities in America and the UK and has enjoyed forming relationships and learning with lots of different people over the years.

Sarah is incredibly driven and now runs our Babies & Bagels programme as well as the women’s One2One programme in London.

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Operations Team

Tzippy Blachman

Tzippy plays a critical role in keeping the Manchester office ticking. 

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In her unassuming way, she gets on with all that is thrown at her including office administration and PA roles to various members of the team. Recently she has also become responsible for advanced women’s programmes including the Wiser Women together with Rebbetzen Joanne Dove, engaging hundreds of women nationally every week.

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Jessica Boxer

Jessica Boxer

Jess takes care of Seed’s communications, PR, fundraising literature and appeals.

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  She is a self-confessed writing geek and creative thinker with a BA in English Literature who works diligently behind the scenes to lead the marketing and fundraising campaigns that enable Seed to flourish.

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Bev Ginsberg

Bev hails from Cape Town, South Africa and has a BA in Social Sciences.

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Bev first encountered Seed as a participant and liked what she saw so much that she decided to join Seed behind the scenes and has been keeping all of our finances in order ever since.

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Sharon Glick

Sharon is the Seed London office manager and the engine behind the Seed Shul.

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She is super-efficient, always willing to step in and take responsibility, going above and beyond the call of duty.

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Shosh Greenberg

Shosh joined the Seed team in 2022 as Director of Operations. Holding a BSc in Physiology & Pharmacology

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and years of experience in budgeting & finance, enhancing operation systems and procedures, compliance, and event management in the Jewish charity arena, she is a self-proclaimed procedure & process geek.

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Malki Katz

After six years of teaching and involvement in Jewish education, Malki joined the Seed team

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in 2018 as coordinator of the schools programme. Her sense of humour, creativity, can-do attitude and superb organisational skills make her a valued asset to the team. Malki now works as PA to Rabbi Herman.

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Lauren Lemon

Lauren has been working at Seed for a number of years, but actually 

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started her career at Seed as a young girl as a seminar participant, and later on learning at a One2One Seed centre in Manchester. Lauren has previously had a hand in fundraising administration and office management and now supports our Early Years programmes.

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Carly Lissner

Carly is a proud mum of two boys and a tirelessly efficient administrator in our London office.

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She looks after many aspects of Seed’s finances, database, statistics and fundraising administration.

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Mirele Mordecai

Mirele runs the London schools programme. With a background in Psychology

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and experience organising events and trips for Bnei Akiva and the United Synagogue, she is exceptionally well-organised and creative. Mirele grew up in Notting Hill and now lives in Edgware with her husband and two gorgeous children.

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Robyn Samir

Robyn brings exceptional organisation skills and bags of straight-talking style to the London office.

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She is responsible for numerous areas of fundraising administration and has been dubbed ‘director of chasing’. She originally hails from South Africa and is mum to two gorgeous girls.

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Ilan Weinstein

Indefatigable Ilan is the National Office Manager and it is he who keeps us going in a

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professional manner. Ilan is assiduous and unassuming and ensures the Seed team work to their full potential. We thank his good wife Devorah for allowing him to give so much of his time.

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