Our community was founded in 1964 by 30 families and today it has grown to become the largest Liberal Jewish Synagogue outside of central London with over 1100 adult and 300 younger members.
Our Synagogue is governed by a Board of members who are elected at an Annual General Meeting and who serve a two-year term of office.
Take a look around our website for more information about NPLS and if you would like any further information please contact us.
You can read the full story of our history and relationship here.
All of our board members generously volunteer their time to support the good governance and smooth running of our Synagogue and its premises. Many share their professional expertise ensuring that NPLS has access to a body of expert knowledge to assist our operation. The current Board is performed by the following members:
Chair – Leslie Moss
Vice Chair – Susan Boobis
Hon. Treasurer – Philip Austin
Hon. Secretary – Nicole Hershon
Mary Pearmain – Minutes Secretary
Philip Aarons, Maurice Ashkenazi-Bakes, Richard Colin, Carole Jordan, David Levin and Ben Rickayzen
President – Spencer Cowan
Vice Presidents – Stephen Herman, Brian Sass
At NPLS we also run a Shadow Board. This is a small team of members who help to perform non-governance roles that support the running of the Synagogue and who we hope in time, will take leadership positions in our community.
If you have a question for our Board or would like to explore the possibility of becoming a member of the Board, please do get in touch here. If you are interested in learning more about our Shadow Board then contact Rabbi Aaron Goldstein.
In 2013 Rabbi Lea Mühlstein was appointed as second rabbi of the community.
In 2014 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of NPLS. Our members came together for celebratory worship and a wonderful party.
In May 2015 we opened the doors to our Ark to the first Torah scroll commissioned especially for our Synagogue. The new lightweight Torah was finished with the help of 41 of our members who with our wonderful scribe, wrote the final letters onto the Scroll.
In early 2018, we digitised the oral histories interviews that were recorded in 1987/1988 in which members were interviewed about what it was like to be a Jew before and during the Second World War.
In July 2018 we appointed our first cantor, Cantor Tamara Wolfson.
Membership of NPLS has now grown to grown to some 1100 adults and approximately 300 children and junior members under 18 years of age.
In 2001 the first annual programme for Holocaust Memorial week was run jointly with Northwood United Synagogue. 600 local children attended. After 20 years heavy use, the synagogue was refurbished. The first Jewish Arts Week programme took place.
In the same year NPLS appointed its first paid Care Coordinator Jackie Goodman to take over the pastoral support previously undertaken by Mrs Sharon Goldstein.
In 2003 a strategic review of the Synagogue took place and a management committee was established.
2004-5 saw celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the congregation including an appeal which raised £40,000 to buy an ambulance for Magen David Adom. In 2006 Rabbi Andrew preached and the synagogue choir sang in Lincoln Cathedral.
In 2006 Rabbi Aaron Goldstein was appointed Assistant Rabbi and in 2008 Rabbi Andrew retired and was succeeded by Rabbi Aaron. Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles was appointed Assistant Rabbi, and he retired in 2012.
Rabbi Marcia Plumb was appointed Associate Rabbi 1990, followed by Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith as assistant in 1994 and Rabbi Rachel Benjamin in 1998.
In 1990 the NPLS branch in Amersham was established as an independent community – the South Bucks Jewish Community.
In 1994 following a generous donation and an appeal part of the buildings which had been let were taken back and the Osorio Hall and additional classrooms were created. In 1995 the Etz Chayim Gallery was established in the Osorio Hall.
In 1996 Judi Herman wrote “Stones of Kolín” which was subsequently performed both at Sadlers Wells in London and – as part of an NPLS trip – in the town of Kolín.
The new synagogue was dedicated in 1981. Later that year an Ark Surround was rescued from the Cemetery Chapel in Kolín (Czechoslovakia) and reassembled in our synagogue as a permanent memorial to the many Jews from Kolín who were transported to the concentration camps by the Nazis.
By 1982 the congregation had out grown its new building for High Holy Days services which were subsequently held in Watford.
In 1984 two part time administrators Ingrid Squires and Avril Witte were employed.
In 1987 the first synagogue retreat to Charney Manor took place, as did a trip to Spain, the first of many overseas trips to places of Jewish interest. The memorial Tree of Remembrance was consecrated.
Andrew Goldstein was ordained as a Rabbi in 1970 and inducted as Minister in that September.
In 1977 the site for new Synagogue was acquired in Oaklands Gate Northwood and with successive appeals £250,000 was raised for construction.
Rabbi Goldstein’s Yom Kippur address in 1978 was the starting point for NPLS connection with Czech and Slovak Jewry.
Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) began life as the Pinner & District Liberal Synagogue in 1964 with 30 families. The first meetings were held at West House in Pinner.
Student rabbi Andrew Goldstein was appointed as Principal of the Religion School in 1965 and acting minister in 1967.
In 1966 the congregation moved to a former Methodist hall in Hallowell Road Northwood and changed its name to Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue.
|Andrew Goldstein||Minister 1967- 1970
Rabbi and Senior Rabbi 1970 – 2008
Rabbi Emeritus 2008
|Marsha Plumb||Associate 1990 -1991|
|Frank Dabba Smith||Assistant 1994 – 1997|
|Rachel Benjamin||Assistant 1998 – 2004|
|Aaron Goldstein||Assistant 2007 – 2008
Senior Rabbi 2008 –
|Hillel Athias Robles||Assistant and Associate 2008 – 2012|
|Lea Mühlstein||Rabbi 2013 –|
|Tamara Wolfson||Cantor 2018 – 2020|
|Bertram Jacobs||1971 – 1982|
|Charles Samuel||1985 – 1990|
|Alan Lewis||1990 – 1995|
|June Samuel||1995 – 2000|
|Neil Drapkin||2000 – 2004|
|Richard Conradi||2004 – 2009|
|Tony Sacker||2009 – 2014|
|Steve Herman||2014 – 2019|
|Spencer Cowan||2019 –|
|Harry Hazel||1985 – 1990|
|Brian Sass||2009 –|
|Steve Herman||2019 –|
|Alan Lewis||1964 – 1967|
|Alex Popper||1967 – 1968|
|Harry Hazel||1968 – 1972|
|Michael Leaver||1972 – 1975|
|Charles Samuel||1975 – 1978|
|Bernard Barnett||1978 – 1980|
|June Samuel||1980 – 1983|
|Tony Sacker||1983 – 1986|
|Barbara Kohn||1986 – 1989|
|Richard Conradi||1989 – 1993|
|Richard Messik||1993 -1996|
|Richard Conradi||1996 – 1998|
|Jeff Defries||1998 – 2001|
|Sharron Phillips||2001 – 2004|
|Tony Sacker||2004 – 2005|
|Brian Sass||2005 – 2009|
|David Edelman||2009 – 2012|
|Nigel Cole||2012 – 2015|
|Mimi Konigsberg||2015 – 2019|
|Leslie Moss||2019 –|
|Chatanei Torah||Chatanei Bereishit|
|Alan Lewis & Alex Popper||1967|
|Milton Gilbert||Alan Cohen||1968|
|Bertram Jacobs||Phyllis Jacobs||1970|
|Alan Lewis||Joan Lewis||1971|
|Leslie Brooks||Adele Brooks||1973|
|Rabbi Sidney Brichto||Cathryn Brichto||1977|
|Brenda Newman||Norman Newman||1978|
|June Samuel||Charles Samuel||1979|
|David Amstell||Rose Amstell||1980|
|Paul Gilbert||Sally Gilbert||1981|
|Janet Abrahams||Ralph Baer||1982|
|Harold Reese||Cyril Brown||1983|
|David Simmons||Rene Simmons||1984|
|Tony Sacker||Frances Sacker||1985|
|Elkan Kohn||Barbara Kohn||1986|
|Bryan Diamond||Judith Diamond||1987|
|Michael Leaver||Sharon Gross||1988|
|Ruth Goldstein||Aaron Goldstein||1989|
|Rabbi Andrew Goldstein||Sharon Goldstein||1990|
|Joan Lewis||Alan Lewis||1991|
|Peter Jordan||Carrie Kaye||1992|
|Rose Amstell||David Amstell||1993|
|Marguerite & Brian Price||Ann & Stewart Rose||1994|
|Phil Stone||Diana Stone||1995|
|Brian Sass||Veronica Sass||1996|
|Neville & Toni Price||Adrienne & Alan Mansell||1997|
|Cynthia Drapkin||Neil Drapkin||1998|
|Angela Conradi||Richard Conradi||1999|
|Spencer Cowan||Dalya Manches||2000|
|Avril & Joel Witte||Sue & Wally Katz||2001|
|Ingrid Squires||Penny & Cyril Sherwood||2002|
|Gillian & Tony Leaf||Angela & Raymond Freed||2003|
|Barbara & Geoffrey Fisher||David & Marion Grant||2004|
|Sheila Lubich||Nelly Clynes||2005|
|Geoffrey & Betty Davis||Judi & Steve Herman||2006|
|Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein||Sharon Goldstein||2007|
|Mark Greenberg||Sandra Greenberg||2008|
|Phil Stone||Diana Stone||2009|
|Cynthia Drapkin||Suzanne Haffner||2010|
|Carole and John Kettle||Clive and Sheila Sofaer||2011|
|David Edelman||Fiona Holding||2012|
|Tony Sacker||Carole Jordan and Doffy Aarons||2014|
|Rose Amstell and Brian Sass||Richard and Ruth Colin||2015|
|Shirley Coster and Alan Klein||Deborah Boffey and Jonathan Drapkin||2016|
|Sivan Bachrach and Debbie Bello||Peter Bello, Neil and Sue Frais||2017|
|Suzie Vanner and Vanessa Berle||Barbara Kohn||2018|
|Czech and Slovak Connections Committee: Tom & Irene Crosby, Cynthia & Neil Drapkin, Jane Drapkin, Rabbi Dr Andrew & Sharon Goldstein, Michael Gordon, Michael Heppner, Jack Lynes, Dave & Rene Simmons, Brian Sass and Clive & Sheila Sofaer||2019|