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At our shul you will be warmly welcomed by our team

Rabbi Yossy Goldman Rav & Spiritual Leader

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Rabbi Yossy Goldman has been the Senior Minister of our congregation since September, 1986. He recently achieved the milestone of becoming our longest-serving rabbi since the Shul was established in 1943.

Since coming to Sydenham, he has devised a range of educational programmes and activities which have captured the enthusiastic interest of his community. A popular public speaker with an endearing sense of humour, he is guiding hundreds of families on their spiritual expedition through living Judaism.

Rabbi Goldman's synagogue sermons are considered among the finest in the Jewish world. Many have been published online with the international website and are today being translated into Hebrew, Spanish and even German. He is in great demand as a public speaker and has delivered many important addresses in South Africa, the USA, Europe and Australia. He lectures extensively on a wide range of subjects, including Kabbalah, the study of Jewish Mysticism.

He is President of the SA Rabbinical Association, having served as its most successful Chairman for 12 years.

He is a member of the Board of The Torah Academy.

Rabbi Goldman has served as a member of the Religious Broadcasting Panel of the SABC and often represents the Jewish faith on radio and television.

New York born, Rabbi Goldman has been in South Africa since 1976. He originally came to South Africa at the behest of the revered Lubavitcher Rebbe obm to serve as Founding Director of this country's very first Chabad House back in Yeoville. During his ten years there, he initiated many successful services which have become institutions in Johannesburg's Jewish communal life. These include Gan Yisrael Day Camp, Festival of Lights with the Giant Menorah, Lag BOmer Parades and more. He founded and presented The Jewish Sound radio programme every week for 24 years. In 1983, he helped found the Torah Academy Shul and served as its first rabbi.

He obtained Semicha (Rabbinic Ordination) in Montreal, Canada in 1973 from the Rabbinical College of Canada. Among the signatories was the late Chief Rabbi and Head of the Montreal Beth Din, HaRav HaGaon Rav Pinchas Hirschprung obm. He was also Rosh Machaneh of Camp Gan Israel of Canada in 1972.

Rabbi and Rochel (nee Kazen from Cleveland, Ohio) were married in June 1973 and are the proud parents of 11 children and, Baruch Hashem, a growing number of grandchildren.

Rabbi and Rochel are particularly proud that their children are serving Jewish communities in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Philadelphia.

Rebbetzin Rochel Goldman

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Rochel grew up and was educated through high school in Cleveland, Ohio. She furthered her studies in Seminaries in New York and France obtaining a degree in teaching.

Since 1986, she has been Rebbetzin of our Shul. Her energy and dynamism are positively infectious. Over the years, Rochel has given many Shiurim and classes at Shul. Many remember her Yiddish classes and Parenting courses. Her Challah-Baking demonstrations are legendary throughout Johannesburg. She ran a successful Rosh Chodesh Women's Forum for a number of years. She still meets regularly with a group of young women from the Shul and is guiding them in their Jewish journeys.

Rochel is Founder and Chairperson of Women of the World, a highly successful organisation which nurtures Jewish women, promotes education, and a more positive South Africa.

She has been in South Africa since March, 1976. She was a popular High School teacher at Yeshiva College and Torah Academy for many years.

As the proud mother of a large family, juggling her many tasks as ably as she does has made Rochel an inspirational role model for every young woman who has made her acquaintance.

Rabbi Yehuda Stern
Associate Rabbi

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Rabbi Yehuda Stern assumed the position of Associate Rabbi of our Shul in July 2007. He is the Rabbi of our Shtibl Minyan where he already has an enthusiastic following. In addition to leading the Shtibl, Rabbi Stern assists Rabbi Goldman in providing Rabbinic services to the wider congregation.

Rabbi Stern, together with his wife Estee, has also taken-on the challenge of developing activities for Young Adults at Sydenham Shul. Upon their arrival to the Shul, they established, together with a committee of Young Adults, a group called The Friday Night Club whose motive is to offer a venue and forum for Young Adults to meet and socialise in a relaxed non-contrived environment. This couple is dynamic and exciting and have already managed to add to the energy level at Sydenham.

Rabbi Stern was born in Melbourne and matriculated in Israel after his family made Aliyah. He furthered his Torah studies in leading Yeshivot in New York, London and Russia and later obtained his Smicha (Rabbinical Ordination) from the Central Lubavitch Yeshivah of America. After marrying in December 2004, Rabbi and Estee spent the next two years teaching and lecturing in the Jewish community in Melbourne. Rabbi Stern enjoys teaching and is an excellent communicator.

Rabbi and Estee are the proud parents of three children - Batya, Tzviky and Chana.

Rebbetzin Estee Stern

Estee joined Sydenham Shul together with Rabbi Stern and their family in July 2007. She is the Rebbetzin of our Shtibl Minyan and assists her husband in catering for the Young Adults of our Shul. With her gentle and caring approach, she has already developed an enthusiastic following among the women of the Shul.

Estee was born in Springs and raised in Johannesburg. As the daughter of Rabbi Avraham and Hadassah Vigler of the Orange Grove Shul, having an open home to all is a natural way of life.

Estee matriculated at Torah Academy where she excelled and furthered her Jewish studies in Seminary in Israel. She then went on to serve as the Youth Director at the prestigious Shul of Bal Harbor, Florida in the United States. She is an experienced High School teacher, having taught in the Torah Academy Girls High School as well as in other schools in America and Australia. After marrying in December 2004, Estee and Rabbi Stern spent the next two years teaching and lecturing in the Jewish community in Melbourne Australia.

As a young mother of 3 children, Batya, Tzviky and Chana, Estee has been able to inspire those with whom she has come into contact. Her shiurim are enjoyed immensely, as they are deeply spiritual while still being real and relevant. Her energy and passion is genuine, positive and contagious.

Wed, 1 December 2021 27 Kislev 5782