Wimbledon Synagogue appoint a new Rabbi

The Wimbledon Synagogue, which is the largest in South London, is delighted to announce Rabbi Adrian Michael Schell as their newly appointed Rabbi to lead and guide their congregation.   Rabbi Schell joins The Wimbledon Synagogue, having served at one of South Africa’s largest Progressive Reform Jewish congregation (600 members), the Bet David Synagogue in Johannesburg.

Since 2014, Rabbi Schell has been the solo Rabbi of Bet David Synagogue and will now join The Wimbledon Synagogue after the High Holy days on the 1st November 2020.  Rabbi Schell was ordained by the Abraham Geiger College, Potsdam/Berlin in Germany. During his six year tenureship at the Bet David Synagogue, Rabbi Schell was responsible for increasing the previously declining congregation by welcoming new families and individuals to join the Synagogue.

Founded in 1949, The Wimbledon Synagogue draws its 850 members from across South West London, Surrey and beyond.  A vibrant and welcoming community, Wimbledon Synagogue is a member of the Movement for Reform Judaism and is home to a cosmopolitan & diverse membership which also boasts one of the largest cheders with over 100 pupils.

Rob Glaser Chair of The Wimbledon Synagogue commented “Rabbi Schell is the ideal fit for Wimbledon Synagogue.  He shares with us our traditional values and commitment to the community, I know he will be instrumental in guiding us forward.  I am delighted to be a part of our synagogue’s next journey with Rabbi Schell as our spiritual leader.”

Rabbi Schell shares Wimbledon Synagogue’s commitment to the community by ensuring the shul is a Jewish home for everyone.  Alongside the congregation, he will ensure the shul provides a space for families, singles, seniors and students, people who identify as LGBTIQA+ and those who feel comfortable in a traditional Jewish setting.   His beliefs in value-based Judaism, which expresses itself in social action, tikkun olam, and interfaith dialogue has been the principle of his rabbinate journey.

Says Rabbi Schell “I am thrilled to announce my appointment by The Wimbledon Synagogue, to become their new Rabbi. I am blessed beyond words for this incredible chance to open the next chapter in my rabbinic journey and Chayim’s and my life.”

Born in 1973 and raised in Frankfurt Germany, Rabbi Schell is married to Dr.Chayim Schell-Apacik.  Starting out his career as a bookseller he went on to owning and running the Apacik & Schell Bookstore in Munich.  He then became a Sales & Marketing Manager at Germany’s leading publishing house in Munich, before deciding on a career change to the rabbinate.  He was ordained as a Rabbi in 2013 and has led many progressive congregations in Germany and abroad during his rabbinic training, including a year at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.  He worked as the National Youth Director at Rosh Netzer, Germany for the Progressive Jewish movement (UpJ) and served the Progressive Jewish congregation in Hamelin, Germany as Rabbi, before moving to Johannesburg.  Rabbi Schell has a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Studies and Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish and Religious Studies.  His thesis dealt with adoption of children in the Hebrew Bible, and in the context of religious Jewish law (Halacha).