Our Rabbi

Rabbi Lisa Barrett

Brought up in Manchester’s Reform community, Rabbi Lisa Barrett made aliyah to Israel in 1995, where she taught English to Jewish, Muslim and Christian students at the Tabeetha School in Jaffa for five years. On her return to England, a qualification as a complementary therapist specialising in cranio sacral therapy, reflexology and aromatherapy enabled her to work with cancer patients and bereaved carers at St.Anne’s Hospice, where her interest in pastoral care developed.

Rabbi Lisa studied for three years at Boston’s Hebrew College, followed by two years at Leo Baeck College and after ordination in 2011 she taught Jewish studies at JCoSS, was part-time Rabbi at Middlesex New Synagogue (now Mosaic Reform), Glasgow Reform and Stevenage Liberal, plus two years as Assistant Rabbi at Hendon Reform.



Recent Sermons

  • Kol Nidre 5778

    Raising Inquiries

    I am currently in the process of buying a flat. Finding myself in the unusual position of being,
    in my mid-fifties, a first-time home buyer, this is proving quite an experience.

    First, I had to find the perfect property… within my price-range, close to shul, with a
    reasonable amount of space. Signed up with a ... Read more

  • Rosh Hashanah 5778

    Hygge: The Stories We Tell about Who We Are

    This July I spent a wonderful day and half in Copenhagen with my mum and eldest niece at
    the close of a summer holiday spent visiting family in Sweden. It absolutely poured with rain
    most of the time. Damp but undeterred, we still managed to have an ... Read more

  • Shabbat preceding International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 2016

    Speaking Out

    We have just witnessed the most divisive presidential election race in history. A race in which the now president-elect of the most powerful nation on the planet preached a campaign of racism and misogyny, fear and hate. Let’s pray to God that he fails to act on the bigoted and inflammatory words he spewed ... Read more

  • Shabbat Sukkot Chol haMoed 5777


    On Rosh HaShanah we celebrate the creation of the world, and the birthday of humanity. On Yom Kippur we fast, we pray, we atone for our sins, and, wearing the white kittel we will be buried in, we face our mortality. And now, on Sukkot, we leave our sturdy houses to dwell in a fragile ... Read more

  • Yom Kippur 5777

    Remembering We are the Children of the King

    Last Saturday night I got a phone-call. It was the son of one of our members, to let me know that his father had passed away in the early hours of Shabbat morning. The call was not unexpected: the son had let us know earlier in the week ... Read more

  • Rosh Hashana, 5777

    Sacrifice & Protest: Meanings of the Akedah

    In the name of God a father comes a blade’s breadth away from sacrificing his own son in the name of God. And not any father, but Abraham, the Father of the Jewish People. Tomorrow we will read The Akedah – the binding of Isaac – which the rabbis ... Read more

  • Erev Rosh Hashana, 5777


    The evenings are drawing in. Yet even as the dreaded dark nights of winter approach, and the dry leaves rustle underfoot, autumn unfurls her burnished banners of red and crimson and gold and we relish the lingering warmth of summer’s last glow. This is also harvest time; our Holy Day season will come to fruition ... Read more

  • Parashat Korach, 60th Anniversary Service

    The Great Revolt and a Prayer for Fruitful Flowering

    Leadership challenges – egos, rivalries and jealousies – breath-taking drama – unexpected twists – bitter recriminations – expectations disappointed – a nation divided – widespread upheaval – chaos let loose…

    No – I’m not making a statement about the tumultuous past 10 days in UK politics! Infact, this ... Read more

  • Shabbat Be’haalotchcha

    Love Wins

    In 1963, at a Civil Rights march on Washington, Rabbi Joachim Prinz stood up to address the huge crowd in the slot ahead of his clergy colleague, The Reverend Martin Luther King Junior. Rabbi Prinz had been forced to leave his native Berlin in 1937, for persistently urging the Jewish community of the dangers ... Read more

  • ‘Hello’ from Rabbi Lisa

    My first month at SWESRS has been a whirlwind introduction to the community, kicking off with a 13 hour first day of meetings topped off with my first Council meeting, followed by a bar mitzvah, a Communal Seder, lots of Pesach, crossing the Red Sea, 2 funerals and a choir rehearsal  – not necessarily in ... Read more

  • Shirat HaYam, Song at the Sea: 7th Day Pesach

    Hope, Action and Rebirth

    Here we stand – all of us, Bnei Yisrael, at the edge of Yam Suf – the Reed Sea. In In your mind’s eye, picture the scene….

    Behind us lies terror – Pharaoh’s massed armies hurtling closer and closer. We hear the screeching wheels of their chariots even as we speak. Before us ... Read more

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