Roles and Responsibilities
A Governing Body in a faith school such as ours consists of several different types of Governors – Foundation Governors, Staff Governors, Parent Governors, Local Education Authority representative and Non-voting observers.
All Governors have the same collective responsibility and are required to work on one or more committees to support the school. These include: Admissions; Communications; Curriculum; Finance; Limudei Kodesh; Premises; and Staffing. To read the Terms of Reference of each committee, please click here.
The committees meet at various times during the year and then report back to the full Governing Body. Examples of what might be discussed at the termly meetings include ongoing building projects within the school, academic performance and behaviour, as well as addressing any issues arising from recent inspections by Ofsted or Pikuach.
Overall the role of the Governors is to be a ‘critical friend’ to the school. You can download the latest information about Governors and attendance here.
We always seek to ensure that a quorum is present for each meeting of the full Governing Body and its committees. Where members are unable to attend, they send apologies and ensure that they are fully briefed on any outcomes and action points.
If you wish to contact any of the Governors – you can always leave a message with the school office… we welcome your input.
Meet the Governors
Dan Sacker (Foundation Governor & Chair)
I was delighted to be made a Foundation Governor of Hasmonean Primary in October 2015, and became Chair of Governors in November 2016. Together with my wife Michelle, we have four children, two of whom are currently in Hasmonean Primary. Our eldest left the school last year and our youngest is due to start in the Pre-Nursery in September 2021. My background is in political management, public relations, communications and strategy. I currently run The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust which was established to perpetuate and promote the teachings of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l. Between 2013 until his passing in November 2020, I ran Rabbi Sacks’ private office, having previously worked as his Director of Communications, Programming and Strategy in the Office of the Chief Rabbi between 2011 and 2013. Prior to that, I worked for JNF UK as Director of Communications and as a lobbyist at Weber Shandwick Public Affairs. I studied Politics and Modern History at Manchester University and received a Masters in Political Management from The George Washington University in Washington DC.
Michael Abramson (Foundation Governor)
I joined the governing body as a Foundation Governor in 2017. I have four daughters, three of whom are currently in the school. I have been actively involved in other areas of communal life for a number of years, most recently as treasurer of Alei Tzion synagogue. I am an actuary and a partner in an actuarial consulting firm, with around 15 years of professional experience in the fields of pensions and insurance, where I have seen governance used effectively in both small and large organisations.
Richard Goldstein (Foundation Governor & Admissions)
I became a Foundation Governor in the summer of 2014. In my professional career, I am a partner in a City law firm specialising in advising pension funds, with a focus on governance, which plays an increasingly important part in ensuring a well-administered pension scheme. I also help with the management of my department, including mentoring junior lawyers and running appraisals. I believe that both my interest in governance and my management skills are important for my Foundation Governor role. I have taken on responsibility for evaluating the School’s performance data.
Irene Abda (Staff Governor)
I became a Staff Governor in 2010. I am a teaching assistant working mainly in Year 1 and Reception and also support Years 3 and 4. I have a B.Sc. (Hons) Sociology plus educational qualifications in areas such as Early Years, Literacy and Numeracy, and am I qualified as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. I have worked at Hasmonean since 1997, prior to which I was a supply nursery assistant in many of the established Jewish nurseries in the borough. Before working in education, I was a social worker for Hackney Borough Council for three-and-a-half years, first in an area team and then in the newly-formed Homeless Families Unit, when it was run by Social Services.
Harvey Freeman (Foundation Governor & Finance)
I was elected a Parent Governor in October 2015, having previously served on the Board at Woodhouse Sixth Form College and as a Non-voting observer at Mathilda Marks-Kennedy (MMK) Jewish Primary School. Although (as a Chartered Accountant) my main area of expertise at both schools was finance, I became more widely involved; at MMK, other tasks included membership of the Kodesh committee and fully revising the school prospectus. Since joining the Hasmonean Governing Body, I have become liaison for Numeracy on the Curriculum Committee and a member of the Finance Committee. Married to Miriam, who is Secretary to the PTA, I am an active member of Hendon United Synagogue. We have two children, Nathan (Reception) and Abigail (aged 2).
Britt Jacobs (Burstein) (Foundation Governor & Curriculum)
I moved to the UK from South Africa in January 2000. I am the mother to Jessica (Year 3) and Micah (Year 1) and married to Martyn. I am qualified as an Occupational Therapist and specialise in Paediatrics. As Head of Children’s Occupational Therapy in the NHS for over 10 years, I gained staff management skills and an understanding of governance. I have since worked in many local Jewish primary schools as well as being contracted to Barnet LEA, Kisharon and Norwood to provide therapy to children and training for teachers and parents. This has allowed me first-hand experience of seeing what works well and what might further improve Hasmonean. Elected Parent Governor in November 2012, I currently chair the Curriculum Committee. I feel passionately about our children receiving the best-quality education and at the same time being happy and fulfilled individuals who love coming to school and learning.
Leonora Weil (Parent Governor & Staffing)
I have four children in Hasmonean Primary school, and was elected parent governor in 2017. I am a Public Health doctor working in the Regional Operations Team at Public Health England London on COVID-19 Response. I have worked with local, national and international health organisations on projects that include supporting schools and early years settings during the current pandemic, childhood obesity, student mental health and ensuring that children and young people have their voices heard in relation to their health. I have experience in both formal and informal education from primary school to university level. I am proud to be a part of this school working with the excellent staff, governing and parent body.
Morris Cohen (Parent Governor, Premises and Security)
I currently have 2 boys in the school and I run my own plumbing & heating company. My wife Nikki & I have been active members of the PTA and we work hard to support the school. Although I had no previous experience as a governor, I felt I could bring a fresh perspective to the work of the existing governors. I’m passionate about helping to modernise and improve all the school. Since becoming a governor, I have been involved in many of the building projects trying to enhance the school building and security systems. I am committed to do all that I can do to engage with the parent body and work with the governors and head teacher to enhance our children’s school experience.
Josh Tenenblat (Foundation Governor)
Born and raised within minutes’ walk from Hasmonean Primary School, I joined the governing body in 2021. My wife Tamsin and I have three daughters in the school. I am actively involved in communal life and have run community building projects and hold various volunteer positions within our community. My professional background is in design and property and I run my own estate agency, JT Homes, specialising in residential sales, developments and investments in the local area. I feel passionately about children enjoying their primary school experience and look forward to supporting the school in enabling all pupils to thrive and flourish.
Dr Veronique Berman (Foundation Governor, Safeguarding)
I joined the governing body in 2019 with responsibility for safeguarding . I became active in the PTA when my first son joined the Nursery in 2011 and we as a family became part of the Hasmonean Primary School family. I subsequently chaired the PTA for several years where I worked with some fantastic parents to raise some tens of thousands of pounds to add extra activities and facilities to enhance school life for our dear children. My youngest son will PG be entering his final year in September. As a professional scientist with many years of research and teaching in the NHS and medical schools I am now part of the senior management team as Scientific Advisor to Chana, the community fertility charity where I chair the Medical Panel. Passionate about science I also teach GCSE and A-Levels sciences one to one.
Rabbi Ginsbury (School Principal)
I have been senior Rabbi at Hendon United Synagogue (Raleigh Close) since February 1999. My wife Judy and I both have a strong connection with the Hasmonean ‘family’, having respectively been pupils, during the 1970s, at what were then the Boys and Girls Grammar Schools (Judy also spent time as a pupil at our very own Primary School). I was honoured to be invited to join the School as Principal in 2003, having had much previous involvement with various communal projects and educational institutions, especially during my years in Manchester. I value the opportunity my role affords me to relate meaningfully to children and staff at a level appropriate to each of them. I am frequently on-site for meetings or class visits or to address an assembly. I attend Governing Body meetings in an ‘observer’ capacity and also thereby contribute to the strategic and practical development of our School.