The governing body of Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School is chaired by Jason Marantz, with Simone Gershon and Annabel Ries as vice-chairs, and is responsible for setting the direction of the school, including the approval of school policies and the appointment of staff. The governing body oversees the following sub-committees:
- Education and Care
- Family Education
- Health, Safety and Security
- Limmudei Kodesh
- PR and Communications
Jason Marantz – Chair of Governors, Trustee, Safeguarding
Jason was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada. He has a BA in English and a BEd in English and Mathematics from the University of Manitoba. After moving to the UK to teach in 1999, Jason gained an MA in Literacy Learning and Literacy Difficulties from the Institute of Education, University of London and gained the National Professional Qualification for Headship. Jason worked in several schools, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in Canada and the UK before being appointed Headteacher of Wolfson Hillel Primary School in Enfield. He then become the Chief Executive of the London School of Jewish Studies. Jason is the Principal of Ark Swift Academy in London. He recently completed training to become an Ofsted Inspector. Jason and his wife Gillian have four children.
Chavi Abeles – Legal, Admissions
Chavi grew up in Temple Fortune and was an active member of Bnei Akiva. After school she spent a year studying at Midreshet Lindenbaum (“Brovenders”) in Israel. On her return, Chavi read law at Cambridge University and qualified as a solicitor in the Trusts and Charities Goup at Herbert Smith in September 2006. Chavi now works as a solicitor specialising in Charity law at Bond Dickinson LLP. Chavi and Daniel have two young children, Elisha and Libby.
Simone Gershon – Vice Chair, Staffing
Simone has been involved in the Jewish Community from a young age. She was instrumental in setting up the youth centre at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue and, whilst at university, chaired the umbrella committee overseeing Jewish student activities in the Greater Manchester area. Simone subsequently served on the executive of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) as a fieldworker. She holds a Masters degree from the London School of Economics in Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and is currently working as the Head of Strategy for BT Operate, part of British Telecom plc. Simone is married to Rob and they have three young sons.
Elliot Goodman – Parent Governor
Elliot was appointed Parent Governor in 2018 with a particular interest in the site development of Sacks Morasha and public relations. He has an extensive career in the property industry, specialising in commercial lettings and investments in central London. He has been Co-Chairman of the Young UJIA Property Committee and currently sits on the Young Norwood Property Committee. In 2015, he became a volunteer with The Community Security Trust and is a security badge holder. Elliot is married to Natasha and they have three children.
Hayley Gross – Headteacher
Hayley was originally a qualified solicitor in the City before changing career to teaching in 1999. She joined Sacks Morasha at its inception in 2008 and ran a successful, integrated Reception class, leading to an award of an outstanding Early Years in the school’s inaugural Ofsted. Mrs Gross was appointed our first Head Teacher in 2011 and oversees both Chol and Kodesh, ensuring high standards of teaching, attainment and progress across the entire curriculum.
Mrs Gross has a hands-on approach to the school. She can often be found supporting teachers in the classroom and is very approachable to all pupils in the school. Mrs Gross takes pride in knowing all the children and ensuring that they thrive in all areas of school life, both academically and socially.
Leonard Klahr – Foundation Governor, Health and Safety
Irene Mansfield – LEA Governor
Irene’s background is a varied one, with experience after university in legal work of Human Rights NGOs, a break looking after her family, and then a complete change of direction, working with her husband in their business. She was a governor of a primary school in Haringey, Chair of the Classes of Muswell Hill United Synagogue, the Synagogue’s first woman Vice Chair, and is a Governor of a Special School in Tottenham, North London. Irene was a magistrate for many years, latterly specialising in the Family Courts, enabling her to gain a further insight into the problems and challenges faced by children and parents. She lives in Finchley, has two children, both grown-up, and six grandchildren.
Ben Morris – Parent Governor
Ben grew up in Cheadle, Manchester and was an active participant in the Yeshurun Shul and Bnei Akiva. Following a year in yeshiva in Israel, he did a law degree at Birmingham and then an MSc and PhD in political science at the London School of Economics. He is currently a partner at Mazars LLP, an international accountancy and financial advisory firm, where he advises clients on investments in infrastructure and energy projects.
Ben was appointed parent governor in January 2018, having long had a close connection to the school. Together with his wife Talya, he was involved at the outset in setting up Morasha and then helped to shape its direction and ethos as governor for six years. His connection since has been as a parent of four children, now all current pupils at the school. Ben has a particular, longstanding interest in the school’s Limmudei Kodesh provision.
Mark Nicolaides – Finance, Foundation Governor
Mark was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Cornell University, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Mark moved to the UK in 1986 and is now a British citizen. Mark is a partner at Latham & Watkins, an international law firm, specialising in structured finance. He has been commended or highly commended in five of the past ten years by the Financial Times in its Innovative Lawyer Awards, and in recognition of his “numerous firsts in the finance industry” in 2016 the Financial Times recognized Mark as a “Top 10 Innovative Individual”. Mark and his wife Ela Zakaim have a daughter Tilly.
Annabel Ries – Vice Chair, PR/Communications
Annabel grew up in Elstree and then Golders Green. She was an active member of Bnei Akiva and volunteers for Limmud and various other communal organisations. She has a BA in Social Anthropology and an MA in Applied Anthropology and Community and Youth Work, both from London University. She is a freelance editor. Annabel is married to Jonathan Weissbart and they and their two children live in Golders Green.
Naomi Samuels née Greenaway – Foundation Governor, Admissions
Naomi is a national magazine and newspaper journalist and currently works part-time at the Daily Mail online. She has a degree in psychology and a postgraduate qualification in journalism. Before having children Naomi and Jonathan lived in Cape Town, where Naomi was the assistant editor of Glamour magazine at Condé Nast. During her time in South Africa, Naomi also volunteered in the townships helping underprivileged students with their studies. The family continue their connection with charities in South Africa as well as many charitable organisations in the UK. Naomi grew up in Edgware and was an active member of Bnei Akiva.
Leonie Sher – Early Years
Leonie has particular responsibility for educational standards. She coordinates the United Synagogue’s AJE Initial Teacher Training programmes. Her main responsibility is managing the School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) Programme, which is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Leonie has had extensive experience in Jewish Primary Schools. She has held many posts of responsibility and has a particular interest in management and leadership. She has been a Deputy Head Teacher and acting Head Teacher. Leonie is a trained OFSTED inspector as well as a Pikuach inspector. She holds an Institute of Education Master’s degree in Educational Management and Administration. Her Master’s dissertation included an extensive study of the relationship between Head Teachers and their Deputies and how this relationship impacts on the leadership of the school. Leonie has participated in the Tavistock Institute Conferences on ‘Leadership in Organisations’.
Sarah Woodward – Staff Governor
Sarah started volunteering at Sacks Morasha in 2011 and became a member of staff the following year. Sarah’s background is in art and design and she loves being able to use her creativity to inspire the children in their art lessons as well as creating a visually stimulating environment in which they can learn. When not working at school, Sarah is an artist specialising in painting Hebrew calligraphy on glass. Her work is bespoke and she has sold pieces all over the world. Sarah is married to Nathan and they have two children, Sophie and Benjamin.
Governors' interests and attendance at meetings
Details of each member of Sacks Morasha's governing body, including information about their pecuniary and other personal interests, and attendance at meetings. [Updated 2018 information to follow.]
Minutes of Governing Body Meetings
Founding Honorary Principal – Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis is the eleventh Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth since the office was introduced in 1704. Chief Rabbi Mirvis was installed in September 2013, succeeding Lord Sacks.
Born into a rabbinic family in South Africa, Chief Rabbi Mirvis has held educational and community positions in Israel, Ireland and the UK, as Rabbi of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation, Chief Rabbi of Ireland and Senior Rabbi at Finchley United Synagogue (known as Kinloss), where he founded pioneering education projects such as the Kinloss Learning Centre (KLC).
Chief Rabbi Mirvis has served as the President of the Irish Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), and was the first United Synagogue rabbi to host an address by an imam, Dr. Mohammed Essam El-Din Fahim, in his synagogue. He has also led a delegation of members of his community to the Finchley Mosque. In 2012 Chief Rabbi Mirvis appointed the United Kingdom’s first female halachic adviser (Yo’etzet Halacha) at Finchley Synagogue.
Chief Rabbi Mirvis has now assumed the role of Associate President of the Conference of European Rabbis, and has previously been a member of the steering committee of the Conference of European Rabbis. He was appointed to the Chief Rabbi’s Cabinet in 1996 and was Chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue.
Chief Rabbi Mirvis is married to Valerie, a local authority senior social worker who now works in adoption. Chief Rabbi and Mrs Mirvis’s eldest child, Liora Graham, passed away in 2011, following a long battle with cancer. They have four sons, a son-in-law, two daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren.
Honorary Principal – Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence
Rabbi Lawrence is the Senior Rabbi at Finchley United Synagogue (Kinloss), London.
He has an MA (Hons) in Jurisprudence from St Catherine’s College, Oxford University. After university he served for three years as the National Executive Director of the Association of Jewish Sixth Formers. He qualified as a rabbi in Jerusalem, attending Yeshivath Knesseth Beth Eliezer and Yeshivat Hamivtar on a Stanley Kalms Fellowship, and underwent training for Diaspora rabbis. Rabbi Lawrence served for two years as Deputy Head of Jewish Studies at Carmel College boarding school, was Senior Rabbi of the Auckland Hebrew Congregation and most recently was the Chief Minister of The Great Synagogue, Sydney. He is also a qualified Disaster Relief Chaplain and is active in interfaith dialogue at national and international levels. He is a regular lecturer at Limmud and LimmudOz.
Rabbi Lawrence is married to Mandy, who has a postgraduate qualification in health psychology and great experience in informal education. They have four children.