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		                                    Rabbi Kamila		                                </span>

Rabbi Kamila Kopřivová, Ph.D

On 4th September at Kent House our young student rabbi became our Second Rabbi and was installed on the following Shabbat - to the great pleasure of us all. We are delighted to welcome her in her new and official capacity.

On this special evening, Rabbi Kamila Kopřivová was ordained in a special service hosted at Westminster Synagogue.   The ceremony was presented by Rabbi Alexander Kovtun and Helene Bar, and Kamila was ordained by Rabbis Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris and Dr Charles Middleburgh, all under the auspices of the Leo Baeck College.

The Service was led by Rabbi Benji Stanley and the voice of Yoav Oved added to the beauty of the occasion. It was a fittingly modest but memorable and moving Service, witnessed by a ‘full house’ of College Members and our own members.

Kamila became interested in religion as a child, although she had intended to pursue a career as a scientist.  In her teens, a teacher gave her Martin Buber’s Tales of the Hasidim and this sparked her desire to know more about Judaism.

Kamila has an impressive record of achievements, and she speaks four languages, Czech – her mother tongue – English, Hebrew and German.  She earned her PhD in Jewish Theology at Charles University, Prague, and went on to study at Abraham Geiger Kolleg in Potsdam, and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Journalism has also been part of her development. She worked as a Science writer and social media manager while at Charles University and she has lectured both there and at the Faculty of Arts, Potsdam University, on the ‘Challenges of twenty-first century Judaism’ and on Biblical Hebrew.

She says that she had heard about Westminster Synagogue and how it had been instrumental in saving 1,584 sacred Czech Scrolls, and she had made up her mind that one day she would come to London to see the Synagogue for herself.

Then, while studying in Jerusalem, she met Rabbi Benji Stanley and was amazed to discover that he was the Rabbi of Westminster Synagogue.  It was thus, while continuing her training at Leo Baeck College, she came to be our student rabbi.  As such, she has been a tremendous asset from the start.

Her gentle nature has endeared her to all of us – especially the young.   She has taken Shabbat Services and delivered thoughtful addresses.    She has a lovely singing voice which is evident when she chants from the Torah. Kamila also enjoys the art of sofrut - Hebrew calligraphy – an extremely specialised skill.

Over the years, each of our four rabbis has brought something special and different to our congregation.  Each of them has been exactly the right person at the right time.   How fortunate we have been - and now our good fortune continues with the appointment of Kamila Kopřivová.   We welcome her with open arms. Mazal Tov and Yasher Koach! Kamila.

Wed, 19 June 2024 13 Sivan 5784