Rabbi Danny Rich JP BA (Hons)
Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism
Rabbi Danny Rich was born into a classical English Liberal Jewish South London family. He was state educated at Hearnville Primary School and Sir Walter St.John’s Grammar School of which he became Head-boy. Following A-levels in German, History, and Government & Politics, Danny worked as a bureaucrat at the London Fire Brigade before gaining a place at Manchester University to read Politics and Modern History where he completed his undergraduate thesis on ‘The Palestinian Experience in Jordan : 1948-1970’.
A good 2(ii) may have partly been the result of his continual activity in student union politics (Danny was twice elected the Chairperson of the then country’s largest Student Union and its Sabbatical Welfare Officer for a year); in Jewish student affairs (he was the organiser of the local, and convenor of the national, Progressive students); and in the Jewish community (he served as the visiting Lay Minister to the Leicester Progressive Jewish Congregation, as a supervisor of the Kadimah Summer School from 1979-1985, and a Teacher/Service Leader at Manchester Reform Synagogue.
In 1984 Danny began his Rabbinic studies at the Leo Baeck College in Finchley, retaining his links with the Leicester Congregation in addition to teaching at Alyth Gardens (Reform Synagogue). Danny served as an Assistant to Rabbi Julia Neuberger at South London Liberal Synagogue, as part-time Minister to Kingston Liberal Synagogue, as Student Rabbi to Hull and South Hampshire Reform communities, before returning as the full-time Rabbi at Kingston in l988. Danny was ordained in 1989, submitting a thesis on ‘The Teaching of Torah to non-Jews’.
Although Kingston has been the focus of Danny’s activities for more than a decade, he was for three years the part-time Director of the Youth Dept. of the Liberal Judaism, and for 15 years the Director of the Kadimah Summer Camp.
Danny is a past Chair of the Rabbinic Conference of Liberal Judaism and a supervisor of rabbinic students at the Leo Baeck College. He is the Director of Leo Baeck College’s Apprenticeship, Internship & Mentoring programme for the training of students in congregations.
Danny is a former Trustee of Mental Aid Projects and a past Governor of Hinchley Wood Junior School.
Danny was appointed a Justice of the Peace by the Lord Chancellor on 20 December 1996, and received a Diploma in Criminology from the Scarman Centre for the Study of Public Order (Leicester University) in 2001.
Rabbi Danny Rich was appointed as Liberal Judaism’s Chief Executive in November 2004. He also currently serves as Jewish Chaplain to Her Majesty’s Prisons, Latchmere House in Richmond, and Coldingley in Bisley, and to Kingston Hospital, and to Surrey Oaklands National Health Service (NHS) Trust. Danny is the founding Chairperson of the Dittons Branch of the Council of Christians & Jews, and the first Chair of the recently formed Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Inter Faith Forum.
Most importantly, Danny is the father of four children.