Rabbi Gabriel Botnick joined Belsize Square in April 2021, becoming just the 5th Rabbi in Belsize Square’s 80 year history.
The 40 year old American – who was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies – grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where his family are active members of the B’nai Jeshurun Congregation, which was founded more than 170 years ago by Hungarian Jews to bridge the gap between the early German Jewish community and the newer wave of Russian Jewish immigrants.
Rabbi Botnick comes to Belsize from the Mishkon Synagogue, located in Venice Beach, California, founded more than 100 years ago as the first synagogue serving Jews on the west side of Los Angeles.
“Trading the views of the Pacific in Venice, California to come a great city like London to become only the 5th Rabbi in Belsize Square’s 80-year history is a great honour,” he says.
“I hope my passion and experience as a teacher and community organiser will help nurture the heritage of such a special congregation, while also developing innovative and engaging ways to keep our community relevant and meaningful.”
He has come to London with his wife Rabbi Rose Prevezer and daughter Lev. While Rabbi Botnick has not lived in the UK before, Rabbi Prevezer grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb and attended South Hampstead High School. They met at Limmud.