Our Rabbi

This is Rabbi Larry Tabick’s second stint with our Community. He served it in its early days, from 1976 until 1980, and then returned, at Simchat Torah, 1990.

Rabbi Larry Tabick was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947, to a Syrian Christian father and a Jewish mother, both born in the United States, and heard Arabic and Yiddish spoken around him from birth. He is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science in New York and has a degree in history from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Having been involved in the movement to stop the war in Vietnam, he left the US for Canada in 1968, rather than serve in the armed forces in that conflict. He pursued an MA in Biblical texts and the history of the ancient Near East at the University of Toronto, before coming to London to the Leo Baeck College, where he received rabbinic ordination in 1976.

In between his stints at Shir Hayim, Rabbi Larry Tabick served as assistant rabbi at the Middlesex New Synagogue in Harrow and as associate rabbi at the Edgware & District Reform Synagogue.

His wife, Jacqueline, was Britain’s first woman rabbi. She is now the Convenor of the Beit Din of our Reform movement. They have three children, and two grandchildren.

Rabbi Larry Tabick rarely gives conventional, essay-style sermons. Instead, he normally presents us with traditional Jewish texts, from rabbinic, hasidic or kabbalistic literature, that are relevant to the occasion or the Torah reading. Frequently, a wider discussion quickly ensues, and is encouraged.

Rabbi Larry Tabick emails the texts in advance, along with the latest news and forthcoming events, to members with computer access. If you wish to receive these ‘crib sheets’, please contact him.

By his own admission, Rabbi Larry Tabick is fascinated, not to say obsessed, with Jewish mysticism in all its forms, especially Hasidism and Kabbalah. To have a look at his translations of key texts from these traditions, as well as Hasidic and Kabbalistic comments on the Torah, visit Rabbi Larry’s website.

Rabbi Larry is the author of a small book of poems and pictures, entitled Growing into Your Soul (Hylas, 2005). His second book, The Aura of Torah: A Kabbalistic-Hasidic Commentary to the Weekly Readings (JPSA, 2014), is based on the study passages he provides each week, drawn from a wide range of kabbalistic and hasidic sources.