Rabbi Dr. Margaret Jacobi
I have been the rabbi of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue since 1994. I grew up in a Liberal Jewish family, and was an active member of ULPSNYC (now LJY-Netzer). I studied medicine at Birmingham University and then started a career in medical research, gaining a PhD in physiology and working for two years in St. Louis Missouri, USA. Whilst in St. Louis, I decided to embark on my long-held aim of studying for the Rabbinate. My studies included two years at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia and before completing my studies at Leo Baeck College.
I enjoy the diverse challenges and opportunities which congregational work offers, especially in a multi-cultural city like Birmingham. I enjoy working with all age groups, from toddlers, who are especially welcomed to the Synagogue's Shabbat programmes, to the oldest members. I share with the Synagogue an ethos of welcoming anyone who wishes to identify with or explore their interest in Judaism.
I have maintained my interest in medicine and have published papers on Jewish medical ethics, most recently 'The Challenge of Genetic Research' in 'Aspects of Liberal Jewish Thought'. I am now working for a PhD on last chapter of Talmud Sanhedrin, about the world to come. I am also the honorary Progressive Jewish Chaplain at Birmingham University and a member of the Faith Leaders' Group which builds links between the different faiths in Birmingham.
I am joint Chair of the Rabbinic Conference of Liberal Judaism and enjoy working with rabbinic colleagues and lay leaders to continue the task of building a vibrant movement which can offer inspiration to Jews in the 21st century. I value the close links between our Synagogue and the Liberal Judaism movement, of which we are a part.I am married to David and have two young children. I relax by playing the violin and walking in the country.
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