Rabbi Yechezkel Mandelbaum
Rabbi Yechezkel Mandelbaum grew up in a mountain farmer’s family in the Swiss Alps. After discovering his Jewish roots during his Theology Studies at the University of Basel, he studied at various institutions in Israel and subsequently became a rabbinic assistant of the Admor mi Biale Ha Rav Benzion Rabbinowitz, then the community rabbi of Lugano, Switzerland. After assisting Rabbi Rabbinowitz there, Rabbi Mandelbaum, his wife and family moved to Israel, to advance their Jewish studies at the Kollel Hassidut Biale.
Whilst in Israel, he and his wife established the Ambuehl-Mandelbaum Foundation, a foundation for at risk teenagers from religious families, supporting and managing their recreational programmes under Rabbi Avraham Novick in the Swiss Alps.
When his wife Shulamit was offered a place to read Mathematics at Oxford University, the Mandelbaums moved to the United Kingdom and resumed their university studies. Rabbi Mandelbaum completed a BA with first class honours in Musicology, and a MA with distinction at Oxford-Brookes University.
While completing his Master’s degree, Rabbi Mandelbaum studied at Montefiore College in London to obtain semicha (rabbinical ordination). During this training, Rabbi Mandelbaum developed a keen interest in serving small communities, including Cheltenham, by ministering their High Holidays.