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The Governors of the School have a range of duties and responsibilities laid down in education and charity law. These range over most aspects of school life, from student admissions and staff appointments to the finances and educational provision of the School. Governors are nominated by the United Synagogue (our Foundation Body) and Brent Local Education Authority. Parents and staff are entitled to elect representatives to the Governing Body. The Headteacher sits ex officio as a member of the Governing Body.

The Governing Body has a number of standing committees:

  • Admissions chaired by Michael Goldmeier
  • Curriculum and Students (Wellbeing, Attendance and Behaviour) chaired by Geraldine Fainer
  • Finance and Premises (Premises as an ad hoc sub-group) chaired by Stuart Waldman
  • Personnel and Pay (GSCF as a sub-group) 

Link Governors:

  • Attendance & Behaviour : Jo Coleman
  • Health & Safety: David Lerner
  • Pupil Premium: Geraldine Fainer
  • Safeguarding: Charlotte Benjamin and Andrew Moss
  • Security: Michael Lee
  • SEND: Anne Shisler
  • Student Fund Grants: Stuart Waldman
  • Governor Training: John Cooper


There are three parent governors:

Charlotte Benjamin has been a governor since 2015. She is currently chairing the Jewish Studies Curriculum Working party redesigning the Jewish education curriculum at the school. She is married to Elliot with 4 children, 3 of whom are currently studying at JFS, 1 still at IJDS. Professionally she is a GP partner in Hendon and a board member on Barnet CCG commissioning health care for Barnet. This has won her a national accolade from Pulse Magazine as a ‘local hero’, for her work increasing NHS funds for patients with mental health problems and leading on work redesigning mental health services across Barnet.

Geraldine Fainer (Acting Chair) has been a parent governor since September 2014. A barrister by training, she writes law reports for the Official Series and The Times.  She was one of the small cohort of governors who met with the inspector at the successful monitoring inspection visit in December 2014 and together with the then-Chair of Governors, met with the Lead Inspector at the most recent OFSTED inspection when the school was given its "Good" grading with an "Outstanding" Sixth Form.  She chairs the Curriculum and Students Committee and more recently, the Pay and Personnel Committee. She has particular responsibility as the link governor for pupil premium. As well as general governor training, she has undergone Safeguarding and Prevent training. 

Michael Lee has always been involved in the community voluntarily, including youth work, fundraising, coaching a children’s football team etc. Michael enjoys his community work carrying forward the many agenda items on behalf of the parents. Having worked in private, public and not for profit organisations, Michael has experience as an Operations Manager bringing a breadth of skills and experience to complement the governing body. Michael grew up and was educated locally and is now married living in Stanmore, with both his sons attending the school.

United Synagogue appointees are:

Jo Coleman has been a Foundation Governor of JFS since 2010.  Jo is a Partner at Bond Dickinson LLP where she advises on all aspects of charity law and governance.  She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Charity Law Association and writes and lectures regularly on charity law issues.  Jo has two children at the school and is proud to be able to help support the school by serving as a Governor.

John Cooper is a chartered accountant and a lecturer. For many years he was a director of BPP, the professional education company. Currently, he provides training courses in taxation to professional firms. John is vice-president of the Jewish Lads’ & Girls’ Brigade (JLGB) and is trustee and treasurer of Raphael – The Jewish Counselling Service.

Rabbi Daniel Epstein has been serving the Cockfosters & N. Southgate United Synagogue together with his wife Ilana, since June 2014. Rabbi Epstein moved to Israel in 1998, where he established a PR firm, subsequently fundraised for The Arad Foundation, the Pelech Jerusalem High School for Girls and was CEO of Sunrise Israel, a year-round programme for Jewish and Israeli Arab children with cancer, while studying for rabbinical ordination in Jerusalem, which he received in 2012. Rabbi Epstein is involved in interfaith dialogue, adult education, mental health awareness in the community and he is a rabbinic educator on the Holocaust Education Trust's "Lessons from Auschwitz" programme.  Educated in Chemistry and Management Science at Imperial College London, and at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel, Rabbi Epstein and Ilana have four children, aged 9 to 19.  

Michael Goldmeier (Acting Vice Chair)chairs the Admissions Committee was appointed a Foundation Governor in September 2016. He is a partner in the City law firm of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP where he specialises in risk and compliance issues.  Michael has wide voluntary sector experience having previously served as an Honorary Officer of the United Synagogue , a Foundation Governor of the Hasmonean High School and as Chairman of Jewish Care. From 2001 until 2015 Michael sat as a part time Judge in the First Tier Tribunal ( Immigration and Asylum Chamber.) 

David Lerner is CEO of a Charitable Trust.He is currently Chairman of Belmont shul. He was project director for JFS until 2006.At various times he was clerk to the governors of Sinai, Wolfson Hillel, Moriah and King Solomon High School.


Anne Shisler is a specialist teacher, with particular interest in Dyslexia and Assessment.  She was the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at City of London School for Girls for almost 12 years until 2012.  Between 1993 and 2000 she worked for Bournemouth Education Authority in the Learning Support Unit.  Previously Anne worked in the Special Needs Department in Sinai School. In the communities of Kenton, Bournemouth and the New West End, she combined her teaching and family commitments with her role as a minister’s wife and Rebbetzen. 

Stuart Waldman has been a governor since 2014 and is currently the chair of the Finance and Premises Committee having previously been the vice-chair of the governing body.  He has been a parent at JFS since 2011, with children in years 10 and 12 and one in year 5 at Wolfson Hillel. He is a qualified chartered accountant with over 20 years of corporate experience in a variety of senior finance roles for companies such as PwC, Cable & Wireless, Sky, Alfred McAlpine and most recently as a Finance Director at ISG plc.

There is one staff governor:

James Lake is Head of Politics at JFS and a Year 10 tutor. He read Law at Durham University, during which time he took a sabbatical year to be the JCR President of his college, St.John’s. After his undergraduate he moved to London to complete his PGCE at the Institute of Education, UCL, specialising in Citizenship. Having completed his NQT year at Queen’s Park Community School, also in Brent, he commenced work at JFS.

There is on Brent nominated governor:

Richard Martyn  is a business consultant, having held senior roles within large companies in diverse areas .  A Governor of both Secondary and Primary Schools since 1979, a Brent Councillor  from 1982 to 1990, he was chair of Governors at a primary School in Roe Green. He Serves on many committees but concentrates on finance and premises .He is married with three adult  children ,his wife is a Primary School teacher and son is a secondary School teacher.

There are two associate member:

Andrew Moss is a management/strategy consultant in the sports, media and entertainment industries.  A fully qualified solicitor, Andrew left the City for the world of sports business.  He has been a local authority (Brent) governor and Chairman since 2009 and works with a number of schools in Brent on effective governance, strategy and leadership.  Less well known – for several years, Andrew was a football commentator on Capital Gold Radio – one of Jonathan Pearce’s roving reporters. Andrew cycles everywhere in London and plays tennis and golf competitively (ish!).  

Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum is the Dean of the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS). He is a senior lecturer on the BA and MA Jewish Education degree courses at LSJS, as well as their Teacher Training programmes. He is a consultant and educational advisor for a number of Anglo-Jewish education-based institutions, including JFS. Raphael is passionate about Jewish education and the systematic teaching of traditonal Jewish texts. Through the Board of Deputies, he has recently been giving lectures to teachers in Catholic schools about the teaching of Judaism for the new GCSE Religious Studies.

Mrs Deborah Lipkin and Mr Simon Appleman are ex-officio Governors.