Yom Rivii, 18 Elul 5779
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk

I grew up in Oxford where I was a staunch member of Oxford Jewish Congregation. Growing up in such a harmonious and positive Jewish environment must have affected me! A Jewish upbringing outside London brings its blessings and challenges and I benefitted from them both.

I studied Theology and Religious Studies at Bristol University, going on to a year's post at Ravenswood (as it was then) developing activities, respite and resources for 3 - 12-year-olds. After reading a book by Ari Goldman, Finding God at Harvard, I went to study a Masters in Jewish and Christian Theology at Harvard Divinity School for 2 years. I supported myself by teaching in religion schools and developing a Rabbinic learning there too.

I was ordained from the Leo Baeck College in 2001 and I went immediately to Woodford Progressive Synagogue. I worked there as sole Rabbi until January 2005 when Rabbi Rachel Benjamin joined the synagogue in a job share.

In January 2006 I moved to Westminister Synagogue, which is an independent community. I take with me a strong commitment to Liberal values.

I am married to Omar Qassim and I have 2 children, Ruben and Dora.