The Hampstead Jewish community has welcomed the first ever Living and Learning couple to the area, to reach out and inspire local young Jewish professionals.
Josh and Yocheved Zaitchek will be working with young people who may have grown up as members of the United Synagogue but are no longer affiliated in the 20’s and 30’s age bracket. The role is the first of its kind to be funded centrally by the United Synagogue.
Originally from New York, Josh trained as a chef before studying in Israel at the Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim, Kollel Moshav Matisyahu as well as at the Chafetz Chaim, the Rabbinical Seminary of America. He is currently studying for his semicha.
The new role, which will involve running special services on Shabbat, hosting Friday night dinners and organising social and educational programmes, was conceived by the US’ Living and Learning team, in the knowledge that an increasing number of young people are becoming less affiliated once they leave home. They will be based at Hampstead United Synagogue.
David Collins, Community Liaison Manager for the US explained;
“It has become clear that there is a huge number of young singles and young married couples living in Hampstead from communities across the UK, who are proud Jews but for various reasons, are less involved in the community. Josh and Yocheved live and breathe authentic, inclusive Judaism and are the perfect role models for young Jewish professionals.”
Josh Zaitchek added;
“Yocheved and I are really excited to be moving to Hampstead and we can’t wait to get to know everyone. It seems like the perfect community for us and we can’t wait to build on what Rabbi Harris and others have already created at Hampstead United Synagogue.”
Michael Haringman, Chair of Hampstead United Synagogue commented;
“Many young Jewish men and women live within the catchment area of our shul and the development of our young membership is crucial to both the United Synagogue and the shul’s success.”