RABBI DR. MARGARET JACOBI

I have been the rabbi of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue since 1994. I grew up in a Liberal Jewish family, and was an active member of ULPSNYC (now LJY-Netzer). I studied medicine at Birmingham University and then started a career in medical research, gaining a PhD in physiology and working for two years in St. Louis Missouri, USA. Whilst in St. Louis, I decided to embark on my long-held aim of studying for the Rabbinate. My studies included two years at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia and before completing my studies at Leo Baeck College.

I enjoy the diverse challenges and opportunities which congregational work offers, especially in a multi-cultural city like Birmingham. I enjoy working with all age groups, from toddlers to the oldest members, and teach our teenagers for Kabbalat Torah. I share with the Synagogue an ethos of welcoming anyone who wishes to identify with or explore their interest in Judaism. I also value the opportunities for interfaith dialogue which Birmingham offers.

I have maintained my interest in medicine and have published papers on Jewish medical ethics, most recently 'The Challenge of Genetic Research' in 'Aspects of Liberal Jewish Thought'. I have completed a PhD on the last chapter of Talmud Sanhedrin, about the world to come. I am also the honorary Progressive Jewish Chaplain at Birmingham University and a member of the Faith Leaders' Group which builds links between the different faiths in Birmingham.

I am active as a member of the Rabbinic Conference of Liberal Judaism and value the close links between our Synagogue and the Liberal Judaism movement, of which we are a part.

I am married to David and have two teenage children. I relax by playing the violin and walking in the country.