Rosalind Goulden, our recently elected Chair, one of the first women Chairs in the United Synagogue, talks about herself


‘I have lived in Cockfosters all my life as my parents settled in this area following their marriage and became active in the fledgling community. It was no surprise  that I became involved in communal activities in my teens and I began my communal career as a children’s service leader. Whilst leading a Junior club in our busy youth club, I started training as a primary school teacher.

As a student I taught at the local Hebrew Classes and also became involved in fundraising for Israeli charities and got married.  After a short career break to have David and Jonathan, I taught at a local primary school as well as becoming Headteacher of the US local regional cheder.

A special opportunity to join a prestigious course for leading Jewish Educators was offered to me in 1988 and this, together with a Masters degree in Education, prepared me for the Headship of Kerem School in 1991. Having spent a year as the local US Community Director, all my previous experience and qualifications proved invaluable in enabling me to develop Kerem into the truly community school which it has become.  The school, unusually, is largely housed within the busy HGSS building and for nearly 20 years I had first hand experience of working in a synagogue community setting and became involved in many facets of shul life.

I have pursued many opportunities for further professional training  and completed leadership training at the National College followed by a course for Consultant Leaders.  Over the years I enjoyed many opportunities to study in Jerusalem including summer courses at Matan, and seminars at the Mandel Institute.  I consider myself to be most fortunate to have had the privilege of learning from outstanding inspirational Jewish educators.  For 10 years I helped to facilitate professional development, particularly in relationship to the leadership of Jewish schools, for colleagues when I chaired the National Association of Headteachers of Jewish Schools.  Throughout my professional career I have lectured to Jewish educators both in the UK and abroad.

Since I retired from a very full time role as Headteacher, I have been appointed a US Foundation Governor of Michael Sobell Sinai School and it is a privilege to work with a very hard working and talented team of dedicated governors who give so much time to the school.

I joined our local Board of Management at Cockfosters and N Southgate Synagogue in 2011 and became Vice Chairman last year.  The year ahead will bring many challenges for our community and I plan to harness the energies of our talented and hardworking Board to bring us through this time of change.

My Headteacher experience has proved invaluable in keeping all the ‘boys’ in order and I have not needed to separate chattering groups during the meetings….at least not yet!’