Office of the Chief Rabbi

Neshama Speaker Biographies

We are thrilled to have a group of high calibre, world-renowned speakers presenting at Neshama. Please read more about them below.

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Carolyn Cohen

Carolyn has thirty years’ experience as a social worker and psychotherapist for individuals and couples in the public and private sector, twenty of which she has spent as Chana’s Principal Social Worker. In Carolyn’s private practice she works with clients ranging from the ages of 18 -90 with a wide range of difficulties: challenging childhood experiences, significant life changes, bereavement and loss, anxiety and depression. Carolyn is an accredited Psychotherapist, Social Worker, Infertility Counsellor and Internal Family Systems therapist

 

Chava Erlanger

Chava grew up in Israel before moving to Switzerland and Belgium, followed by the United Kingdom. She settled in Manchester 17 years ago. Chava studied art in Belgium and then Manchester Metropolitan to study art and design. Her art is very much an exploration of Jewish identity and history. She focused her research on the effects of trauma on Holocaust survivors’ families and she puts this to practical use by practicing art therapy with people suffering from trauma. Chava is currently working with Manchester University and Saint Mary’s Hospital on the still birth research team focusing on the Jewish community. She has exhibited her work at prominent locations including the Imperial War Museum North and has designed stained glass windows for the Stenecourt Synagogue in Manchester. She continues to produce art alongside her community work in art therapy.

 

Rebbetzen Jacqueline Feldman

Jacqueline is the Rebbetzen of Bushey United Synagogue. She attended Hasmonean High School in London, Bnos Chava Seminary in Jerusalem and received a BSc in Neuroscience from Kings College London. She is a graduate of the Kol Soroh Suzie Bradfield Program and recently the Chief Rabbi’s Ma’ayan Programme. Jacqueline is passionate about working with children with special needs and education, combining her love for Medical Science and Judaism. She enjoys teaching in communities around the country as well as her own. She plays the harp and loves arts and crafts.

 

Rebbetzen Dr Hadassah Fromson

Hadassah is a psychologist and the community Rebbetzen in Golders Green United Synagogue. Hadassah was raised in Gibraltar and studied in the Michlalah Jerusalem College as well as the Matan women’s Beit Midrash program. She holds an undergraduate degree from UCL and a doctorate from City University of London, where she researched sexual satisfaction in long term Jewish relationships. A musician from a young age, Hadassah has always been passionate about bringing together music, creativity and spirituality.

 

Yael Leibowitz

Yael is a graduate of Stern College and has a Master’s degree in Judaic Studies from Columbia University. Prior to making Aliyah, Yael taught Tanakh at the Upper School of Ramaz, and then went on to join the Judaic Studies faculty at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women.  She has taught at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education and served as Resident Scholar at the Jewish Centre of Manhattan. She is currently teaching at various branches of the Matan Institute throughout Israel as she continues her studies at Bar Ilan.

 

Rebbetzen Lauren Levin

Lauren is a graduate of the sixth class of Nishmat’s Yoatzot Halacha Program and was appointed as Britain’s first ever Yoetzet Halacha (female advisor in Jewish Law) at Finchley United Synagogue by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. She now serves as yoetzet halacha and director of education at South Hampstead synagogue centre.

 

Rebbetzen Talya Rose

Talya was born and raised in South Africa. She spent five years working with the Jerusalem fellowships, the JEWEL program and at Aish New York. After completing the Ner LeElef and  Jerusalem Kollel women’s program and training as a yoga teacher, Talya, together with her husband, moved to Berlin. For ten years they were instrumental in rebuilding the fledgling Jewish community founded by The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, integrating students and families from the former Soviet Union into vibrant Jewish life. Talya is currently Assistant Rebbetzen at Mill Hill Synagogue. She enjoys bringing together her two passions and teaches Yoga & Yiddishkeit amongst other programmes, bringing the beauty and relevance of  Jewish life to the bustling Mill Hill community.

 

Rebbetzen Dr Adina Shmidman

Adina is the founding Director of the Women’s Initiative department at the Orthodox Union (OU). Prior to her position at the OU, she taught Psychology and Judaic classes at Kosloff Torah Academy Girls High School in Bala Cynwyd, PA. She previously taught at Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach and the Manhattan High School for Girls. Rebbetzin Dr. Shmidman earned a Teacher’s Certificate from Beth Jacob Seminary in Jerusalem. She graduated from Queens College in New York with a BA in Psychology and later received an MS in School Psychology, and also has a MA in Jewish Education. She received a doctorate in Educational Psychology.  She currently serves as the Rebbetzin of the Lower Merion Synagogue of Bala Cynwyd, PA. She and her husband are the proud parents of four sons.

 

Romy Shulman

Romy is the Clinical Manager at Chana, specialising in counselling within the field of infertility. She has over 15 years’ experience working in the field of mental health both within the NHS and the charitable sector. Working with adults and teenagers with a wide range of emotional difficulties some with severe, enduring mental health diagnoses. Romy has an MSc in Psychological Counselling and is nearing Doctorate in Existential Counselling Psychology.

 

Debra Sobel

Former BBC Television Producer/Director, now Managing Director of Verity London, a strategic and creative content agency. Joint editor of  ‘Un–expecting’, Debra interviewed many of the 40 contributors to the book and heard first hand how couples often have very diverse responses to faith during testing times.

 

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