Board of Management

Lesley Marks – Chairman / Chairman of Social Committee 

Lesley has been a member of the Board of Management for about 20 years. During that time she has been Head of the Cheder (for six years) and now chairs the Social Committee.Together with its amazing members, she has arranged a variety of successful events, including a ‘Getting to Know you Evening’, which rocked the shul!  Lesley is also Coordinator for Project Chesed, through which she has initiated the knitting project and has worked with World Jewish Relief to help send blankets, clothes and toys to vulnerable people in Eastern Europe.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“Through the shul I have been able to help make a difference.”

Lesley marks
Howard Joseph

Howard Joseph – Financial Representative

Born in St Albans, Howard attended St Albans Synagogue in the 1950s with his parents. His grandparents Sam & Katy Joseph were founding members in the early 1940s, and his grandfather’s name (S Joseph) still appears on the original notice board in the entrance to the synagogue.

Howard, and his wife Vivien, moved to Chiswell Green, St Albans, 10 years ago and joined the synagogue in the same year. He became a Board member in 2013, and took on the role of Financial Representative in early 2014. He is an Independent Mortgage Consultant and Financial Adviser, and an active member of two business networks. He has two children and four grandchildren. His hobby is making music.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“Vivien and I were drawn to the community by the friendly and warm welcome we received on our very first visit to the shul.”

Edward Appleby – Warden

Edward has grown up in the St Albans community, always happily and enthusiastically joining in with services and events. He left for a few years to spend his gap year studying in Israel, and to attend university in Manchester, but rejoined the community after graduating – soon being named as one of the wardens, helping to keep services running smoothly, and bringing the average age of the Board down significantly.

Edward works in marketing, but is also involved in youth work in the wider Jewish community.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“Being part of a smaller community has meant that I’ve always felt encouraged to step up and get involved.”

 Edward BoM photo
 David Rez

David Rez – Warden

David, who moved to St Albans in 2004 from Golders Green, is a computer analyst/programmer for old mainframe systems. His role within the community is to make sure that our services run smoothly and to allocate call ups and ark openings on Shabbat and festivals.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“I like the shul because everyone knows each other, and there is a good chance of getting called up.”

Simon Angel – Warden

In addition to assisting on warden duty, Simon, a computer whizz helped build the shul website. Married to Angela, they have two grown-up children, and one brand new granddaughter. Having emigrated from Kenton seven years ago, St Albans shul proved an interesting new challenge, and the only way to respond was by joining the Board of Management and helping make thing happen from within.

Simon, as a singer in a local band, would like to bring new and alternate tunes to Adon Olam on a Shabbat morning!

Favourite thing about the shul?

“The enthusiastic singing from the Shabbat morning minyan.”

Simon Angel

Karen Appleby

Karen has been a member of the shul for over 15 years, and has spent many of those as an active member of the Board – including a couple of years as Vice-Chairman, when she set up and chaired the Social Committee.

She made history by becoming the first female chairman of a United Synagogue community, but recently stepped down after three years in the post, but still works to do the very best for the shul and the community. Karen, and her husband Keith, have two sons and two grandsons.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“We are a growing community but are  still retaining the warmth and communal spirit we have always had.”

Ray Claret

Born in Harpenden, Ray’s parents were founder members of the Shul, and he has attended since the 1950s when he had his Bar Mitzvah.

He is married to Louise with two sons, Max and Jason. For most of his career, he ran a Fashion Hosiery company, supplying the High street retail chains. His main interests are gardening, Watford FC and chess, where he is manager of the local chess club.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“The friendly, ‘haimshe’ atmosphere, and of course the whisky kiddush!”
Ray (cropped)

Elissa Da Costa-Waldman

Elissa is joins the Board of Management as a relatively new member of St Albans Synagogue having moved to the area with her husband Bernard, as recently as October 2013. Elissa is a barrister specialising in matrimonial finance and cohabitants’ property disputes and is also a mediator, collaborative lawyer and family law arbitrator. She is a Dementia Friend Champion to help others recognise and understand how dementia impacts lives. Elissa has two children, Melanie and Daniel who together with their respective spouses, James and Nina, have providedElissa with her pride and joy in the way of six gorgeous grandchildren.

Favourite thing about the shul?

Its community spirit and knowing you can call on anyone in a crisis.

Jeanette Grenby – Marketing & PR

In 2015, it will be 50 years since Jeanette left NW London for St Albans, then still with its own cattle market behind Marks & Spencer in the main street, fell in love with the place, and now would never go back to suburbia.

Her late husband had joined the shul’s Board of Management within a few years of their arrival, and she took over from him as soon as women were allowed to have a role in running the shul.  Despite her best efforts, she has not been allowed to stand down since.   A career in journalism and PR makes her the ideal person to edit the shul newsletter and take responsibility for publicity.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“What I like about the shul is the sense of community.   Small is definitely beautiful in our case.”

Jeanette Grenby
Vivienne Morris

Vivienne Morris

Vivienne is relatively new to St Albans, having moved to Bricket Wood three and a half years ago with husband Gerald, after 33 years in Pinner. They joined St Albans shul, and straight away joined the social committee helping with kiddushim a
nd various functions.

On leaving school, Vivienne worked for the Midland Bank, then post children went into retail working for M&S in Watford. She has three daughters, two of whom are married, with three grandchildren between them. Vivienne enjoys reading, puzzle books and gardening. She explains that she used to listen to LBC (having been on radio several times), but is now converted to BBC Three Counties Radio.  Vivienne and Gerald also love their frequent trips to Cyprus where they have a holiday home.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“I felt like a member of a very welcoming family from the moment I joined”

Ian Rothstein

Ian was born in Edgware, raised in Edgware, Barmitzvahed in Edgware United and married in Edgware United. He was educated at Rosh Pinah, and then Orange Hill. He spent most of his teenage youth Kenton Maccabi as a youth leader where he met Adele, also a youth leader, and they thought it might be a good idea to spend the rest of their lives together.

They live in Borehamwood and have 3 boys. Ian has always been in the rag trade, firstly with his father and latterly in the West End.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“I visited St Albans Shul with my father after his 2nd heart attack and felt really at home. There are no egos, it’s just a good old fashioned shul, and because of this our youngest son was Barmitzvahed here.”

Ian Rothstein

Sarah Solts

Sarah Solts

Sarah, together with her husband Russell, have been members since their wedding in 1992. She is an active member of the Social Committee and is very keen to see the development of the younger members of the community, having worked in pre-school education  and management and more recently running her own business teaching young people to drive.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“What I like is the friendliness and laid back approach and manner of the community.”

Steve Waxman

Steve has been the Director of an Event Production company for over 30 years (no wonder he’s going grey!) He and his wife have been members of St Albans shul for the past couple of years where it seems he has become the ‘Resident Hugbah Man’!! With two sons, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren, they are kept very, very busy.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“It’s a small but very warm and inviting community”

Steve Waxman
Martin Wise

Martin Wise – Bereavement

Martin and his wife, Annette, live in Napsbury Park, and have been members of our shul since 2003. They have two grown-up children – Lisa and Jonathan. Martin’s professional background is varied: from window display, to advertising, to marketing director of a silk tie manufacturer, and finally, archive creator of one of England’s top menswear retailers. His hobbies are photography and computers.

A member of the Board for nine years, he holds the ‘Bereavement’ portfolio, making him responsible for the shiva chairs and mourning books. Additionally, Martin is the one to thank for the comfortable new chairs and window blinds around the shul.

Favourite thing about the shul?

“Everyone gets their turn to join in and no one is left sitting on their own.”