The Chair

CATHY KNOWLES

It has been a great honour to become Chair of this lovely community, which has been my second home for nearly three decades  Over the years I have served on several boards, attended countless Menorah events and services, been on numerous committees and rotas, and run activities including Israeli dancing and community retreat weekends.  Outside Menorah, I was on the board of Reform Judaism and very active in Limmud and HaMakom.  What links all these groups with Menorah is the shared ethos of active engaged progressive Judaism powered by devoted volunteers.

I was born in Manhattan and grew up in Los Angeles.  We belonged to a Reform temple, but my passion for Judaism came from Habonim – long summers at camp followed by a Habonim gap year on kibbutz in the Negev.  After university I returned to Israel, living in Jerusalem for 3 years.   Back in Los Angeles, I worked in software engineering where I met my Mancunian husband who brought me and our young son to Manchester in 1991.

Menorah has always had so much to offer – opportunities for learning and socialising, praying and singing, being entertained and giving to others.  I have huge respect for those who have led us over the years, but I am also thrilled to see a new group of people starting to bring their own energy and creative ideas to enrich us all.  My goal as chair is to build bridges between diverse groups in the community and help facilitate a smooth transition to the next generation of leaders.   I hope you will join me on this exciting journey!