Letters should be addressed care of the School or may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Mark Hurst
- Curriculum and Students Wellbeing, Attendance and Behaviour (CSWAB) chaired by Charlotte Benajmin
- Finance and Premises (Premises as an ad hoc sub-group) chaired by John Cooper
- Personnel and Pay (GSCF as a sub-group) by Geraldine Fainer
- Jewish Studies Committee chaired by Rabbi Dr Rafi Zarum
- Attendance & Behaviour: Naomi Newman
- Health & Safety: Andrew Moss
- Pupil Premium: Julia Alberga
- Safeguarding: Charlotte Benjamin
- Security: Mark Hurst
- SEND: Anne Shisler
- Student Fund Grants: Richard Martyn
- Governor Training: James Lake
Please click here for the latest governor information
United Synagogue Appointees
Geraldine (Chair) was a parent governor from September 2014 and became a foundation governor in July 2017. 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. As well as general governor training, she has undergone Safeguarding and Prevent training.
Michael (Joint Vice Chair) was appointed a Foundation Governor in September 2016. Prior to becoming joint-vice chair Michael chaired the Admissions Committee. For many years Michael was a partner in the international law firm of what is now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and continues his association with the practice 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.) He is now taking an MA degree in Jewish Studies at University College London.
Andrew (Joint Vice Chair) 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!).
Charlotte became a parent governor in 2015 and a foundation governor in July 2018. She chairs the Curriculum, Student Wellbeing and Behaviour Committee (CSWAB) and is the link governor for safeguarding. Her eldest child has just graduated from the sixth form and her other 3 children are at JFS. 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.
John 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
Rabbi Daniel, the US appointed Rabbi governor, has been serving the Cockfosters & N. Southgate United Synagogue together with his wife Ilana, since June 2014. He moved to Israel in 1998, where he established a PR firm, subsequently fundraised for The Arad Foundation, 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. He was educated in Chemistry and Management Science at Imperial College London, and at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel.
Naomi has taught in many Jewish primary schools, both as a secular and Jewish Studies teacher, and worked as project manager for the JSCP (Jewish Studies Curriculum Partnership). In recent years she has completed an MSc in Special and Inclusive Education and an OCR Level 5 Diploma in Teaching Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) and has been working in a special unit in a secondary school. She was previously a Foundation Governor of the Independent Jewish Day School
Anne 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.
Mark has been a governor since 2017 and currently chairs the Admissions Committee. He has been involved in his shul community for many years, at various points serving as gabbai (warden), sitting on the board of management and helping to run the care and welfare group. Mark is a lawyer specialising in commercial real estate. He has three children working their way through JFS.
Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum
Rabbi Raphael 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 traditional 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.
James 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.
Richard 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.
Julia is project manager for the JLC led Community Wellbeing Project which is a community wide approach to positive wellbeing and will provide opportunities for children and young people to develop coping strategies and resilience tools to ensure that they have the capacity to grow and flourish into happy, confident individuals.
Prior to this she was founder and director of the ORT JUMP programme which enables Year 12 students to be mentored by someone who is already established in a career they are interested in. JFS first piloted the scheme 9 years ago and has been successfully offering the programme in the sixth form since then. Prior to that she worked for Jewish Women’s Aid, educating students in the issues surrounding domestic abuse in the community. She has a particular interest in SEN.
Caroline Bunder (nee Westbrook) has been a governor since 2018. She has over 25 years experience in journalism, working across print, broadcast and online, specialising in arts and entertainment. For the past six years Caroline has worked for Metro Online, the website of the free daily newspaper, and is currently assistant SEO Editor (TV). Formerly Caroline was reviews editor at film magazine Empire, and later worked for the BBC website. In addition, she was a co-founder of the websites SomethingJewish, Jewish.net and Jewish.co.uk in the early 2000s, as well as being a contributing editor to the short-lived free Jewish magazine JLifestyle. Caroline, is a member of Brondesbury Park Synagogue, and has a daughter currently in year 8 at JFS. She has a particular interest in anti-bullying initiatives as well as student wellbeing.
David, a former pupil of JFS, is a Chartered accountant currently running a corporate cost reduction consultancy and a small property investment company with the flexibility to engage in governor responsibilities during the day as well as evenings. He has been a gabbai (warden) at Mill Hill United Synagogue and is currently a volunteer at The Paperweight Trust. His 3 children have all attended JFS.