Office of the Chief Rabbi

The Chief Rabbi’s Etz Chaim Project

The Etz Chaim project, an initiative of the Chief Rabbi’s Centre for Community Excellence (CCE), presents brilliant opportunities for young men and women who are experienced Madrichim (leaders) to enhance Jewish life in communities across the UK.

CCE works in partnership with the heads of various organisations, seminaries and Yeshivot to recruit the very best Madrichim for the Etz Chaim project, allowing them to tailor-make programmes for synagogue members to enjoy over Shabbatot and Chagim. Small teams of Madrichim will visit congregations to create enriching Jewish experiences, sharing their enthusiasm and Jewish knowledge to enhance communal life. An Etz Chaim group can assist with leading services, singing, layning, giving shiurim (talks), running youth programmes, leading Simchat Torah dancing, running a Friday night dinner, Shabbat lunch and much more. Essentially, helping to create a wonderful Ruach (atmosphere).

For more information, or to arrange an Etz Chaim team of Madrichim to come to your community, please call 02083436309 or email



The role of a Madrich selected for an Etz Chaim trip comes with a certain amount of privilege and responsibility. Their involvement can make a real difference to communities, through the special ruach and meaningful Jewish experiences they create.

Madrichim selected for the Chief Rabbi’s Etz Chaim project are those who can exemplify a Torah-true way of life, whilst having the maturity and sensitivity to know how best to impart their Jewish knowledge and enthusiasm.

These are young men and women who have abundant enthusiasm, relish the opportunity to share their Jewish knowledge and are keen to hone their leadership skills.

The Etz Chaim project presents a perfect way to harness and further develop these strengths.

The madrichim were fantastic and we had a wonderful Shabbat. When can they come again?”

Ashley Bernstein, President Childwall Synagogue, Liverpool

“We want Judaism to be strong and vibrant and connected throughout the UK.”

Etz Chaim Madrich.

The Etz Chaim project is inspired by the hugely successful ‘Torah Tours’ programme of Yeshiva University in the USA, which has been running for over forty years.


How it works:

An Etz Chaim team can comprise up to 6 Madrichim, and can be either a single or mixed gender team. The Madrichim in any particular team will be determined by the leadership of their affiliated organisation.

The community they visit will be decided by the CCE department at the Office of the Chief Rabbi, together with the leadership of the organisations we partner. Madrichim can let us know if there is a particular community they would like to visit.

One team member will be appointed team leader and will be responsible for:

  • Liaising and discussing logistical arrangements with the main contact at their assigned community, i.e. arrangements for travel, accommodation and food.
  • Liaising with the community to devise and plan the best possible programme for that community during their visit. This will involve discussing what the community would like assistance with over the Shabbat or Chag visit, as well as taking initiative and suggesting ideas on how their team can enhance the experience
  • Bringing energy and Simcha to the community!

Communities may request help in the following areas:

Kriyat HaTorah, leading Tefillah, giving Divrei Torah and preparing youth programming, helping to run/lead a communal Shabbat Meal and more.

Costs: The Madrichim are volunteers. Communities pay for their travel and food, as well as arranging and financing their accommodation.

If your community would like to host an Etz Chaim team, please contact Rachel Shababo either via email or by calling 0208 343 6309.
There is funding available from CCE for an Etz Chaim group. Apply here for funding from CCE.
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