Our Rabbi

Rabbi Dr. Margaret Jacobi

Rabbi Dr. Margaret JacobiI 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.

Rabbi Harry Jacobi

I am very grateful for all the messages condolence and support from the congregation following the death of my father, Rabbi Harry Jacobi. Being a child refugee himself, in recent years, my father became very involved with the work of Safe Passage, which works to help child refugees in Calais and across Europe. His wish was that donations could be given in his memory to Safe Passage. If you would like to, you can donate through:


Or, you can send a cheque to Safe Passage, 136 Cavell Street, London E1 2JA, earmarked in memory of Rabbi Harry Jacobi.

With thanks,

Rabbi Margaret Jacobi.