The seed Team
Rabbi Joey Grunfeld
He is the raconteur, the story teller, the visionary and the Talmudic scholar all rolled into one - combining wit and wisdom in equal measure. Somehow or another he straddles all worlds. At home in the bastions of Torah learning “far from the madding crowd” and equally at ease chatting amiably with captains of commerce and industry.
He is the founder and National Director of seed. Over the last 34 years it has been his vocation to share the richness of authentic Judaism with a new generation.
Rabbi Malcolm Herman
Rabbi Herman’s introduction to seed in 2001 heralded a new era for the organisation. Malcolm, who holds a law degree from the LSE had previously spent five years as the Community Director of the Whitefield Synagogue in Manchester. After joining seed as Director of Programmes, Rabbi Herman was the catalyst for the expansion of the organisation in London and Manchester. A much loved lecturer, known for his creativity and down-to-earth approach, Rabbi Herman now fills the role of Associate National Director.
Daniela has been with seed Manchester since 2013 as Assistant Office Manager. She brings with her superb skills and professionalism ensuring that the myriad of tasks on the admin side are running smoothly. Her dedication is outstanding and you may even find her in the kitchen cooking for one of our events!
Rabbi Gary Bazak
Rabbi Gary, a former Deputy Head Boy at JFS, has a BSc Hons in Chemistry with Physics. He brings with him many years of experience in Jewish education both in Israel and in the UK and has launched and taught on various student programmes. An exciting addition to the seed team, together with his wife Tanya, Rabbi Bazak works primarily on the Wohl Family Education Schools Programme in Jewish primary schools.
Rabbi Dov Birnbaum
The latest addition to our educational team, Rabbi Birnbaum brings with him a wealth of experience teaching at the highest level. Proudly hailing from Kingsbury, Rabbi Birnbaum has spent several years studying and teaching in Israel. He has a diploma in community leadership and jewish education.
He is well known to our Israel trip participants having presented the mens educational programme for three successive years.
Rabbi Birnbaum will be primarily focusing on developing our community at the seed shul.
The newest recruit to the seed team, Tehilla has previously held several educational positions. She is an experienced lifecoach and is currently completing a diploma in family therapy.
Her natural charm and charisma coupled with her dynamic educating skills make her a real asset to our team.
She will be focusing on community development together with her husband Rabbi Birnbaum.
Tzippy, Manchester born and bred, is a critical component of the Manchester team that keeps the office ticking. In her unassuming way, she gets on with all that is thrown at her including office administration and PA roles to various members of the team. Her efficiency is second to none.
Shoshi brings energy and enthusiasm to the seed team with her warm and engaging personality. She coordinates and runs 'Babies and Bagels' and the schools programme, is a Hebrew reading teacher and mentors young participants and volunteers alike. She is also responsible for the 'Mesibat Shabbat' programme that our mums and children enjoy so much.
A sign language interpreter by profession, over the last seven years Vanessa Broder has dedicated her talents and creativity to the development of the seed branch in the north of England. Her passion for both education and people is legendary and a shiur with her is an unforgettable experience. Vanessa and her husband Motty are known for their warmth and welcoming home, bustling with a steady stream of action.
Rabbi Dovid Simcha Cohen
Dovid Simcha is seed’s brand new one to one coordinator. For over 15 years he has been studying at the highest level. This has included many years in some of the most prestigious institutions in the Jewish world including Gateshead and Mir. Currently he is a member of Edgware’s Kollel Beis Aharon where he is known for his ability to combine high standards in his learning with great wit! – A perfect combination for one to one!
Friedie is the latest addition to our Manchester admin team stepping in as maternity cover. Her previous experience at various businesses brings with her valuable talent. In the short time she has been with us, Friedie is already making a difference. Her easy manner brings a sense of calmness to the bustling action. We are proud to have her as part of our team.
Another South African ex-pat, Dalia graduated with a Masters in Human Resources, and in her role as Director of Operations, ensures that the whole ‘seed’ machine runs smoothly. She manages to organise, direct and motivate a very dynamic, diverse group of personalities, all with sensitivity and a sunny smile. She is currently training for the London Marathon - so her energy levels cannot be matched (outside of the Olympic team!).
Marianne is events co-ordinator par excellence
with a remarkable eye for detail. Without her, the
numerous events and activities that have become
synonymous with seed Manchester would grind to
a halt. She is responsible for the smooth delivery of
all that occurs. She is supported by her husband Joel
who continually gives so much to seed Manchester
– also a director of our sister fundraising company
Affiliated Utilities/Utility Tracker.
Joanne Dove joined seed in 2006. After moving to the UK in the early ‘90’s, she, together with her husband Rabbi Jonathan Dove, were university chaplains, first in Leeds and then London. Joanne also spent many years running the women’s programmes in the JLE in Golders Green. Nowadays Joanne is a senior educator at seed, utilising her wealth of experience, endless energy and vibrant personality in the role. She is a mother, grandmother, mentor, sister, teacher and confidante to many, guiding them through life’s challenges.
Rabbi Adam Edwards
Rabbi Adam Edwards was the “pioneer” in the original revolutionary community partnership venture between seed and the United Synagogue. After nearly three years in Bushey, Rabbi Edwards then joined the Silkins in seed’s burgeoning activities in Elstree and Borehamwood. Ever the pioneer, Rabbi Edwards then began a ground breaking initiative in family/parent education at JFS where he was the Family Educator, a joint position of the school and seed. Rabbi Edwards has a passion for education and has an MA in Jewish Education from The University of London. He is now the Director of Educational Development for seed.
Tali was born in Johannesburg, but moved to Israel when she was 11. She still retains though, her South African warmth, charm and ability to communicate at all levels to all people. Having studied in Gateshead seminary for 3 years she is only too familiar with 'drab England', but compensates for it with her sense of humour, her vitality and passion for meeting new people and communicating authentic and relevant Judaism in a friendly and down to earth fashion.
Bev hails from Cape Town, South Africa and has a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences. She has many years work experience in the financial field and relocated to the UK with her family in 2007. North West London is now home . In her spare time she enjoys gardening and visiting the sights of London and the wider UK . She first encountered seed as a participant and liked what she saw so much that she decided to join seed behind the scenes and has been keeping all our finances in order ever since.
Roz worked for many years in the corporate world and then decided to look for a job within a more spiritually sensitive and Jewish environment. She found this here at seed and now not only helps Rabbi Herman manage an incredibly packed diary of teaching and fundraising commitments, but she’s also a crucial part of the Operations team, lending a hand with our many events and programmes and helping to create a happy working environment with her own zany brand of humour.
Rabbi Shaya Grunfeld
Recognise the name? Shaya is the son of the BOSS and has now carved his own niche in the world of seed in Manchester. He is a senior lecturer and jointly leads the Manchester team with the primary responsibility of fundraising for seed North. He and his wife Kayla run a busy and inspiring home and regularly share their lively Shabbat table. He is also a professional counsellor with a sought after private practice.
Rabbi Avraham Hassan
Rabbi Hassan is the educator’s educator and has a long list of illustrious students including Rabbi Akiva Tatz – no less! For over two decades he ran the One to One programmes in the north of England and lectured on our seminars. More recently, as well as being seed North’s Senior Rabbinic Advisor, he gives classes on 'The Everyday and The Esoteric', opening mystical texts to the modern mind.
Carmel is a highly experienced educator with over 25 years experience. She trained formally in Israel for 4 years to teach in secondary school. Since then she has taught in primary schools in London and Manchester. She was Jewish studies governor for many years in King David Junior in Manchester and was instrumental in curriculum development. More recently she has specialised in informal adult education both one to one and groups. She partnered Malcolm in their years in Whitefield where she became legendary for her warmth, sensitivity and sincerity. She has recently joined the team in London in her own right, teaching and guiding women through life’s labyrinth with inspiration and positivity
Essie was born and bred in Israel from where she brings her warm and open style. She first joined seed as a volunteer in 2005. Soon after, she joined the educational team as an indispensable link between seed’s various types of programmes, events and seminars. As Educational Development Co-ordinator, Essie recruits, organises and teaches for seed while still somehow finding time to raise her family!
Rabbi Aron Litwin
Rabbi Aron Litwin is the latest addition to the Manchester seed team. Aron, originally from Golders Green, learnt in the Jerusalem Kolel and brings with him great skills, both in his ability to connect with people and as an educator. His primary role and focus is to support and build on our existing beginners programmes.
Debbie, the ultimate perfectionist, joined the seed team in 2004 with a background in Fine Art! Since 2005 she has been “the face of Babies & Bagels”, a programme she created together with Rabbi Dr Leslie and Shanni Solomon. Whilst still fulfilling this role, Debbie’s responsibilities have expanded to include the design of seed’s publications and resources - notably the term brochures and the website – as well as organising and recruiting for events and seminars.
Gabriela is responsible for all the behind the scenes work that goes on to ensure that the programmes are up and running in Manchester. From the ordering to the actual setup, Gabriela quietly gets on in her unassuming way. But what she is perhaps most well-known for is her scrumptious cooking and baking that has become the trademark of some of our programmes. We are considering moving her computer into the kitchen!
Rabbi Daniel Sturgess
Rabbi Daniel Sturgess has a BSc in Mathematics and European Study. Previously the Rabbi and Director of Aish in Birmingham; he has run several educational and social programmes including those for the Jewish students at the Birmingham universities. Since August 2014 he has also been the Rabbi for St Albans United Synagogue. Rabbi Sturgess has recently joined the seed team as the in-house seed family educator in Sinai School.
Rabbi Dovid Tugendhaft
In 1999, Rabbi Dovid Tugendhaft founded the Ohr Yisrael Shul in Elstree where he served for six years before joining seed in 2005 as Director of Educational Development. He now shares his time between Hasmonean High Schools, seed, and the Nishmas Yisroel Shul in Hendon, which he founded in 2009 . He is very well known for his down to earth clarity and sensitivity. He is equally loved for that “Chassidic soul”!
Shoshana Tugendhaft is an educator from a family of educators, for she is the daughter of Rabbi and Rebbetzen Kimche of Ner Yisroel in Hendon. She is a popular speaker and gives regular Torah classes on a variety of issues both for seed and in the wider community. She has a particular penchant for unravelling some of the most tricky textual issues with thorough research and competent erudition.
Indefatigable Ilan is the National Office Manager and it is he who keeps us in a professional manner. Ilan is assiduous and unassuming and ensures the seed team work to their full potential. We thank his good wife Devorah for allowing him to give so much of his time.
Tali Burnley helps to run the Links programmes, Party Time Shabbat and Babies & Bagels. She is an integral part of the seed team and is always there with a smile to help with any programme that we run.