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Our Rav

Rabbi Shimon Winegarten was born in London during Teves 1949 and raised in Hampstead Garden Suburb. As a child his father regularly took him to daven in the Shtibel of the Premishlaner Rebbe TZ"L situated nearby in the suburb.

The young Shimon soaked up the atmosphere of intensive Kavana and Yir'as Shomayim prevalent at the Shtibel, which he recalls with great nostalgia to this day.


The Rov was educated at the Menorah Primary School and Carmel College, where he was a conscientious student in both Torah and secular studies. He gained a scholarship to read History at Oxford University. On hearing of the Rov's desire to attend "Talmudical College" the don who interviewed him at Oxford and offered him a place, remarked perceptively "The world is full of History professors, but religious leaders are few and far between". The Rov internlised that message and never took up the place.

The Rov learned with great determination at the Kerem B'Yavneh and Mir Yeshivos. At the latter he became deeply influenced by the saintly Rosh Yeshiva Rav Chaim Shmulevitz TZ"L He became closely associated with the Gerrer Rebbe (The Bais Yisroel) ZT"L whose home he frequently visited. He obtained semicha in 1972 from three renowned Rabbonim, including the Rov of Yerushalayim, Rav Bezalel Zolti TZ"L.

He met his Rebbetzen in 1974 and after his marriage continued his studies at the Mirrer Kollel until 1975 when he returned to London. He became a melamed at the Lubavitch Grammar School, Hampstead Garden Suburb and gave Shiurim in a number of different places before his appointment of Rov of Bridge Lane Beth Hamedrash in Nissan 1979.

Under their dynamic leadership, the Rov and Rebbetzen have been inspirational in building the Kehilah into a power house of Torah, Avodah and Gemilus Chasodim. Their deep sincerity and sensitivity, together with their dedicated commitment have made them and their family a shining role model throughout the community. It has gone from strength to strength and is now a vibrant part of North West London.

The Rov's Deroshos and Shiurim, both for men and ladies are invariably direct, penetrating and thought provoking. His twice daily Daf Yomi Shiur now in its 4th seven yearly cycle, invariably draws a large and impressive audience including a significant cluster of Talmidei Chachomim. All are stimulated by the Rovs erudition and linguistic fluency, his insicive powers of Talmudic analysis and wry sense of humour.

The Rov's pastoral endeavours, especially in the direction of helping and comforting those in need, are selfless and unceasing. Many people will testify to the countless hours that he and the Rebbetzen have spent assisting and advising them with particular family difficulties often at the considerable expense of their own personal time and need for relaxation. In contrast, the Rov and Rebbetzen treat every Simcha in the Kehilloh as their own personal celebration and have been a binding force in the moulding of Bridge Lane into a veritable family of families.

The Rov's commitment to communal life goes well beyond looking after the needs of his own members. He has become a leader in the field of Chinuch as the founder of the Torah Temimah Jewish Day School and the first principal of the Independent Jewish Day School. He is the Rov of the Kisharon Schools and is active in the M.S.T College, Chai Cancer Care, The Club House and Jewish Prisoner Support. He has taken a special interest in combating the spread of drug-taking and delinquency amongst youth. He spearheaded the formation of the North West London Liason Committee which monitors the incidence of child abuse and serves as Religious Adviser to Nefesh UK.

The Rov's reputation as a Talmid Chochom is well established. He receives Shaylos from men and women not just within the Kehilloh but also from much further afield. He is often called upon to particpate in hearing Dinei Torah at the UOHC North West London Beis Din and is a duty Rov at the Beis Horo-oh in Golders Green.

In the last decade of the life of the Manchester Roish Hayeshiva ZT"L the Rov enjoyed a very close relationship with him. This was the catalyst for the Rov's commitment to the teaching and personal exemplification of Shemiras Haloshon. He continues to lecture widely on that subject, often appearing as a speaker at the Agudah and other prominent conventions both in the UK and abroad.

Bridge Lane and the wider Kehilah are indeed fortunate to be the beneficiaries of the leadership of Rabbi and Rebbetzen Winegarten. May they always be blessed with good health, nachas and simchas in their family with the strength to continue their outstanding work for many more years to come!

Fri, 26 April 2019 21 Nisan 5779