Office of the Chief Rabbi

Centre for Rabbinic Excellence

Empowering communities to reach their potential.

What is CRE?

The Centre for Rabbinic Excellence (CRE) is one of the most significant innovations undertaken by the Chief Rabbi since his installation in September 2013, when he laid out his vision for the Jewish community. His priorities for the Jewish communities under his auspices (the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth) include excellence in Jewish education and building stronger communities, and it is these that inform the primary focus of CRE.

CRE began operating as a new department of the Office of the Chief Rabbi in September 2014 and from its inception, adopted a multi-pronged approach to realising a more empowered and more energised UK Jewry. It is overseeing the transformation of synagogues into powerhouses of Jewish religious, educational, social and cultural excellence by supporting communities in expanding their programming. In this way CRE has become a go-to hub for community leaders seeking to enthuse and engage their congregants.

In addition to assisting individual communities in creating quality programming and events for their members, CRE also runs several flagship projects – The Etz Chaim Project, Investing in RebbetzensCommunity Twinning and Rabbis for Communities, each aiming to strengthen community life, invest in leadership and foster relations between synagogues.

4th March 2015: Purim Celebrations included a children's drumming workshop @ Hadley Wood Jewish Community

4th March 2015: Hadley Wood Synagogue’s Purim celebrations included a children’s drumming workshop

How can CRE help?

Some of our communities are battling to maintain financial viability and are not in a position to finance even modest costs to cover the community programming at the heart of the Chief Rabbi’s transformative agenda. Other communities have the financial wherewithal but not the creative programming ideas. As a result, many communities remain on the launch pad with little hope of lift off. CRE exists to remedy this.

CRE provides practical advice and seed funding to aid the creation of new projects. It has developed a network of renowned educators and speakers, connects with communities and provides access to outstanding examples of best practice. Please see the CRE Case Studies library, which showcases a selection of the most innovative, inspiring and community-oriented programmes that CRE has funded.

To find out how you can maximise your chances of putting in a successful application, read our handy Guide to Applications & Awards.

To fill in the CRE application form, please click here. 

31st October 2015: Children enjoy a post-Shabbat study session with their parents and grandparents @Allerton Hebrew Congregation

31st October 2015: Children enjoy a post-Shabbat study session with their parents and grandparents at Childwall Hebrew Congregation, Liverpool



Please email Rachel Shababo or call 020 8343 6309 for more information.

A snapshot of CRE-funded events