Office of the Chief Rabbi

Valerie Mirvis heads Rebbetzens Leadership Trip to Gibraltar

This week forty Rebbetzens from London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Hong Kong, travelled to Gibraltar on Valerie Mirvis’ two day leadership trip as part of her landmark Investing in Rebbetzens Series, which has been developed in conjunction with the Chief Rabbi’s Centre for Rabbinic Excellence (CRE).

After touring the island, the group attended a session on interfaith work and a leadership panel chaired by Mrs Mirvis, on which The Hon. Mrs. Justice Ramagge Prescott, the first woman to be appointed to the Bench of the Gibraltar Supreme Court and Alice Mascarenhas, Deputy Editor of the Gibraltar Chronicle, discussed their respective career paths.

Valerie (centre) presided over a special Leadership panel that featured Justice Ramagge Prescott (left) and senior journalist Alice Mascarenhas (right)

Valerie (centre) presided over a special Leadership panel that featured Justice Ramagge Prescott (right) and senior journalist Alice Mascarenhas (left)

140 ladies of the Gibraltar Jewish community hosted the group at a special sell-out banquet in the Grand Battery, during which The Hon Samantha Sacramento, Minister for Tourism, Social Services, Equality and Housing spoke impressively.

The next day, Valerie delivered a lively lecture on ‘Managing Change’ and then paid a visit to Governor Lieutenant General Edward Davis.

The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, The Hon. Fabian Picardo, addressed the group in the Nafusot Yehuda Synagogue.

Eleven of the Rebbetzens gave shiurim to their fellow participants, who included eighty women from the Gibraltar community and pupils at the Gibraltar Jews’ High School and the Talmud Torah Primary School.

Following the visit, Valerie Mirvis commented, “This ground-breaking, jam-packed trip was designed to teach leadership skills in a fun, innovative and impactful way to equip and inspire our Rebbetzens to initiate new projects in their communities, with the support of the CRE. Gibraltar is a model of inter-faith co-existence and with its vibrant Jewish community and outstanding leaders, was the perfect place for our trip.”

Valerie delivers an insightful session on Managing Change to Rebbetzens on the trip

Participants returned inspired to apply what they had learnt to their communities back home. Rebbetzen Ilana Epstein of Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue and Head of Project Development of the United Synagogue’s Living & Learning Department said: “Valerie’s thought-provoking talk on Managing Change, had more than one Rebbetzen texting her husband with ideas that I’m sure will be coming to a neighbourhood near you very soon.”

Rebbetzen Shoshana Landau of Kingston United Synagogue added: “The trip was a resounding success, both in execution and achievement.”

Investing in Rebbetzens is a  landmark new series devised by Valerie Mirvis to empower and inspire our community’s leading ladies. Through a combination of professional development and leadership seminar days and the Gibraltar Leadership Trip, the series is offering new avenues for spiritual exploration, facilitating closer rapport between Rebbetzens across the UK and the Commonwealth and the chance to broaden both skill and mind-sets.

In addition to the gallery of photos below (please click each image to enlarge), you can view a slideshow of images from the Gibraltar Trip here.

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