Board members

ANN ANGEL
I first became part of the Menorah community when, age 13, I was invited with my friends to found a youth group. It was great fun. I even sat on the Board as the youth representative. An eye-opener!

Coming full circle I am now pleased to hold portfolios for Adult Education and Interfaith issues. Please be in touch if you have an interest in attending sessions, supporting activities or introducing new ideas. Or simply want to enjoy a chat over a nice cup of tea!

I returned to Menorah in 1994 with Paul, my husband, and Ilan and Yuval, our children, who attended the Menorah nursery and enjoyed youth activities. I supported youth leaders and youth activities at Menorah and helped to launch the Kehilla weekend and the Schools Outreach programme. I am currently coordinator of the Access course and adult Hebrew classes, and the Menorah representative for Altrincham Interfaith Group.

Professionally I work in Jewish education. I love to use creative means to explore Judaism, especially Jewish storytelling. I was the Northern Communities Consultant for the Leo Baeck College Centre for Jewish Education, trained youth leaders in Jerusalem, taught B’nei Mitzvah in Haifa and Jewish studies in Manchester. I am now running my own business, offering specialist workshops on Judaism to schools. I also like wild swimming and then eating homemade soup!


JANE BLANK 

I have been attending Menorah for over 25 years and being there with my friends it has become an integral part of my life. I was born and brought up in the Manchester area.

I was married at Menorah to my dear husband Michael who sadly died in 2015.  I am a Health and Social Care Consultant specialising in the work of the  Court of Protection and I am also engaged by several Manchester law firms. I undertake voluntary work with a host of Jewish organisations of all denominations.  Over the years I have been involved in a range of shul activities and I have met and volunteered alongside some wonderful people who have inspired and supported me along the way.  In 2018 I decided to give something back in a more formal way by joining the board.
I am often found at Menorah with usually with a pot of tea in hand – please come up and say hello.


EMILY CARP

Emily has been a member of Menorah since she was 12 years old, and celebrated her own, her sister’s, and (most recently) her mum’s bat mitzvahs with the community.
Apart from a year spent in Israel after graduating from The University of Manchester in 2014, where she completed a BA in Middle Eastern Studies, she has been a constant member of the Menorah choir since 2006. However, she has sung in choirs directed by Ruti since the age of 7, as a North Cheshire alum. Emily has also taught at cheder for many years, particularly enjoying working with bnei mitzvah students as they prepare for their celebrations. She now also volunteers with Adult Education as a Hebrew teacher.
Emily is particularly enthusiastic about working with young people in the community, and with other young adults in the progressive Jewish community both in Manchester and further afield.


ROBERT CLINE
I joined Menorah in 2014 and was elected to the Board in 2015. Being new, I agreed to take responsibility for co-ordinating education (including youth activities) at Menorah, not realising quite how massive a task that was!

Having originally been brought up in a modern orthodox context, as only Mancunians know how, I have rediscovered my connection with Jewish life at Menorah alongside my wife, Sarah, who converted through the Menorah Access Course.
Although some might insist that my profession as a barrister does make me just a little more outspoken than many, I do hope to receive more feedback, comments and suggestions (be they good, bad or indifferent) from members that can be built upon rather than to plough my own furrow; Menorah is a community for everyone and that, to me, means trying to accommodate as many views and ideas as possible. Please feel free to e-mail me at if you want to discuss or suggest anything (preferably related to Menorah but there’s always room for more)


cotton-pic2DAVID COTTON
David arrived in Manchester in the summer of 1960 ( at the age of 22) for what was supposed to be a 6 Month working assignment.  As a product of the West London synagogue, he naturally sought out Jacksons Row, and plunged immediately into the (mainly social) activities even in those days so typical of the reform movement.  Having Joined Menorah in the “Old Fire Station” era. David first served on Council and was part of the selection group responsible for the appointment of Brian Fox.  After a gap of many years, re joined as a Director in 2013, principally to represent the Choir at Board level, and has also taken on responsibility for liaison with new and joining Members. 

 


SIMON JACOBS
Simon was brought up at Manchester Reform Synagogue (MRS in Jackson’s Row) and can claim an early leadership role being chairman of the youth club there. Unusually, Simon can claim to be a fourth generation Reform Jew, his great-grandfather Isaac Asher Isaacs was the (paid) secretary of the Manchester Congregation of British Jews (now MRS) over 130 years ago! His parents were founder members of Menorah, so he remembers services at the Friends Meeting House, the ‘fire station’ (part of the now-demolished Sharston Hall), and the previous building on the current site. He left Manchester to go to university and only returned 40 years later!

He works in human resources as an interim manager, sometimes working, on a temporary basis, for weeks or months away from home.

Simon has previously been a Board member for Maidenhead Synagogue and the Jewish Joint Burial Society so is familiar with Jewish communal organisations. He currently advises the Board on human resource matters and plays a vocal role at Board meetings!
Simon is married to Lorna and their daughter, Zoë, is about to move from Glasgow to London. 


kershawLAWRENCE KERSHAW (Hon Treasurer – subscriptions)

Lawrence was born in Manchester and has been a member of the Reform community since he was 7. He celebrated his barmitzvah at Jacksons Row.
He qualified as a Chartered Accountant at 21 and has been in professional practice since. He is married to Janet and has two adult daughters Suzie and Lisa.
Lawrence has rejoined the board, after a 2 year rest, having served for over 10 years previously (6 years as Hon Treasurer)
He enjoys most sports (especially football and Man City) and enjoys travel and puzzles.


Kletz-Robert-cropROBERT KLETZ
I have lived in the North-West since the 1980s and our family joined Menorah in 2002, when our children were just starting Cheder. I joined the Board in 2011 and for the first seven years I was responsible for synagogue security. In 2018 I took on a new portfolio coordinating all volunteering effort in the synagogue. A lot of synagogue members are happy to help out with various activities but do not necessarily know whom to approach. At the same time a lot of the activity organisers need help but do not necessarily know whom to approach. I am the middle-man and a point of contact for everybody.


CATHY KNOWLES
I have been a member of Menorah for over 25 years. Roles over the years included running Kehilla weekend; leading the Israeli dance class; chairing the Russian twinning group; tutoring Hebrew on Thursday nights; marriage secretary; and more. Outside Menorah, I served on the board of Reform Judaism and helped run Jewish mindfulness retreats. I am very active in Limmud, supporting Day Limmud events in cities around the UK, including Manchester Limmud since 2013.  I was born in Manhattan, grew up in Los Angeles, and moved to Manchester in 1991. I have always been Reform, and spent 8 wonderful years in the Habonim youth movement – long summers at camps around the USA and Canada and a gap year on Kibbutz Urim in the Negev. I lived in Jerusalem for 3 years after university. My profession was software engineering, and I am now happily retired. My son Vince lives in London.  I love the warmth and diversity of Menorah and the range and quality of religious, social and cultural events of this special community.


ALEX MASIDLOVER

Alex joined Menorah over 15 years ago and has been on the security team for most of that time. He took over as security director in 2018. Alex has also taught at cheder and spent a number of years teaching adults hebrew as part of the adult education programme at Menorah. Alex grew up near Nottingham and attended NottinghamLiberal Synagogue; he moved to Manchester to attend UMIST and stayed to start his own software development business.Married to Jenny together they have two primary-school age boys; Ben and Reuben.  Alex fills his remaining time by doing some running, swimming and cycling and assisting with Gatley’s community events.

 


MARK MITCHELL

I was born in Bramhall many years ago! and apart from 5 years working in London during my Banking Career, I have never strayed far from my roots. I now live in Hazel Grove with my wife Francine, Aron my youngest step son and our 2 dogs.  I have 2 children from my 1st marriage, 2 step children of Francine’s, and 4 Grand children. I joined Menorah as a friend early in 2000 when I first met Francine and became a full member in 2010.  I am a member of the choir & on the social committee.  Despite still working full time as a decorator I try to get involved as much as possible with our Menorah Community from which we have made many true friends.


ADAM ORMROD  

It was quite a surprise to be asked to be Honarary Treasurer for the Menorah Community. Firstly, I would like to thank my predecessor, Robert Shields, who has and still does an immense amount of work behind the scenes on behalf of the Menorah community. My aim together with the finance committee is to build on this success during my tenure. In truth,

however, the success of Menorah is down to its congregants who provide such a vibrant and varied platform for Jewish study and culture to be explored and exhibited. I urge all to attend and support such events when and however they can. The money is the easy bit!!!

 


saffer-reubenREUBEN SAFFER
Born and brought up in Hackney, London and moved to Manchester in 1979 when my wife Judith began her social work studies.  Joined Menorah in 1987 when our eldest daughter was 5 and all three children had their bar and bat mitzvahs at Menorah.  Joined the Board eight years ago and worked with the team which developed the new synagogue building. My day work was as a building project manager with housing associations and other charitable bodies where I ran my own practice until December 2014 and still continue with a number of small assignments, some of a voluntary nature.
Menorah is a thriving Jewish community offering a varied range of activities which is why we enjoy being part of it.


IAN WEINSTOCK
Ian Weinstock, black coffee drinker, digital technology consultant, passionate about cars and husband to Jenny and parent to Mitten and Robbin (cats).
Usually found in Menorah most Erev shabbatim.
Ian is very honoured to have been considered and elected to the role of portfolio IT director. Through the guidance and mentorship of Robert Shields, the dedication of the team at Menorah and the boards commitment of support, we will be sure to continue empowering the Shul and its members with the right tools, support and technology moving forward