Jonathan Wittenberg was born in Glasgow to a German Jewish refugee family.
After reading English at Cambridge and teacher training at Goldsmiths, he studied for the rabbinate at Leo Baeck College, London, and in Israel, following family tradition. He was appointed rabbi of the New North London Masorti Synagogue in 1987 and senior rabbi of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues UK in 2008. He is chair of the European Region of the Rabbinical Assembly and has been a strong supporter of the work of Masorti Olami around the world.
He is a president of the Council of Christians and Jews and a member of the Council of Imams and Rabbis. He is a co-founder of Eco-Synagogue and is deeply engaged in environmental issues. He is closely involved in supporting refugees. Further interests include pastoral work, hospice care and literature, especially poetry. He teaches and speaks widely, including on Radio 4’s Prayer for the Day. His publications include The Eternal Journey: Meditations on the Jewish Year (2001); The Silence of Dark Water: An Inner Journey (2008); Walking with the Light (2013); My Dear Ones: One Family and The Final Solution (2016) and most recently Things My Dog Has Taught Me – About Being a Better Human.
He is married to Nicola Solomon; they have three children and a dog. He loves plants, animals, people, and woodland and mountain walks.
Aside from his teaching, preaching, writing and pastoral duties, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg’s dog Mitzpah regularly ensures that he has time for long walks at most times of day (and some of night), taking him to see the woodlands, parks and wild places they both love. It’s a relationship which has become indispensable to the spiritual wellbeing of both their lives.