Watford announces the appointment of new dynamic rabbinic couple
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Wednesday 13th May 2020

Watford & District Synagogue is delighted to announce the appointment of Rabbi Mordechai and Rebbetzen Shira Chalk as the community’s new rabbinic couple. The Chalks were overwhelmingly approved by the community recently and they will be “joining” Watford later this month, albeit remotely.

Despite the challenges posed by Coronavirus, the community was able to attend a highly successful virtual ‘Meet the Rabbi and Rebbetzen’ event last month. 

Rabbi Mordechai Chalk grew up in Golders Green, going to school at Hasmonean High School for Boys before spending the next 11 years in Israel studying at Bais Yisroel Yeshiva, the Mir and teaching at Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion. Rabbi Chalk teaches part time in JFS and has just graduated from the Rabbinic Training Academy (“RTA”). Rabbi Chalk is also a qualified shochet and personal trainer. He enjoys lifting heavy weights in the gym and still supports his local team, Barnet FC.

Shira grew up in St John’s Wood and is the daughter of Dayan and Rebbetzen Binstock. She has spent much of her life as part of the United Synagogue and was active in her shul. Shira studied in Israel, has a degree in Education from Goldsmiths, University of London and has been involved in education work subsequently. She writes popular ‘Tribe Scribe’ cartoon in the weekly United Synagogue Daf Hashavua. 

The Chalks have spent the last two years as founding members of the Rabbinic Training Academy giving them the opportunity to gain experience and understanding of the UK Jewish and broader community. In addition to advanced Halachic studies, the RTA provides professional development and training in counselling, relationships and mental wellbeing.

Rabbi and Rebbetzen Chalk are proud parents of Tzvi (3½), Meir (2) and their new arrival, Miri.

Rabbi Mordechai Chalk said: “Shira and I are delighted to be joining the Watford & District Synagogue family. Watford is a community of great potential in an area of Jewish growth. We look forward to engaging with the wider Watford and District community and we are excited to build a bright future together. We all appreciate  the challenge of engaging with the community virtually during this time of corona crisis and we very much look forward to meeting everyone personally in due course.” 

Brian Markeson, Chair of Watford & District Synagogue, said: “The Watford community welcomes the exciting appointment of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Chalk, a young and dynamic couple embarking on their first community role. The Chalks have varied and successful track records in education at all levels, and we are very confident that they will help us strengthen and grow over the years ahead.

“Although their initial engagement will by necessity be virtual, we know that they will soon embark of a number of exciting initiatives which will restore Watford's glory and enable the community to grow and go from strength to strength. We look forward to the whole community being able to meet them in person as soon as we get back to shul.”