We are very pleased to announce that Rabbi Samuel Thurgood has been appointed as the new Head of Jewish Life and Learning for the United Herzlia Schools from 1 July 2022. As per mutual agreement with his current employer – the Beit Midrash Morasha, there will be a transition period from 1 July during which he will still be involved in a limited capacity at the Shul, while they find a suitable solution to replace him.

Rabbi Sam received his Rabbinic Ordination in 2008 from the Yeshiva Gedolah of Johannesburg. He completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Coaching from the South African College of Applied Psychology in 2019 and in 2020 he completed his Masters Degree in Jewish Education through Middlesex University (UK).

Rabbi Sam is known to many in the community as the Rabbi of Beit Midrash Morasha (Arthur’s Road Shul), where he served since October 2012. Apart from his Rabbinical role, he has also been working in the educational field as a curriculum writer for King David Schools and a Kodesh Coordinator for Yeshiva College Primary School, both in Johannesburg. He is also a Faculty Member of The Academy of Jewish Thought and Learning. His other roles in the community include serving as a member of the Management Commitment of the South African Zionist Federation (Cape Council) and an Executive Member of the South African Rabbinical Association.

He has previously taught at Herzlia Alon Ashel (Lego Torah classes), Cape Town Torah High Boys School (Teacher and Curriculum Developer), was the Educational Director for Conversion to Judaism for the Union of Orthodox Synagogues (2019-2020), taught at Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School (2013-2019), Head of the Judaica Department at Eden College Durban (2009-2012) and Teacher at Hirsch Lyons Boys High (2003-2008).

Rabbi Sam says: “My approach to Judaism is to create a welcoming and embracing environment in which Jews feel that their Judaism is valuable and life-affirming, and those who are not Jewish feel that Judaism cares about them and issues in the broader world.”

Rabbi Sam is married to Aviva, who – apart from being a wife and mother to their four children Shalva (9), Tzuriya and Azriel (4) and Neriya (2) – is also a Physiotherapist in private practice.

Please join us in welcoming Rabbi Thurgood and wishing him much success in his new position at United Herzlia Schools.