Who we are
Dayan Menachem Gelley - Rosh Beth Din
Dayan Gelley was born in Gateshead and studied at Sunderland Yeshiva (which was co-headed by his father). He further studied at the prestigious Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnai Brak, Israel, before moving to the Institute for Higher Rabbinical Studies (Gateshead Kollel) in Gateshead.
He further trained as a Dayan in Israel and the United States and joined the London Beth Din in 1993. He has lectured extensively on Jewish Law and has, over the years, enjoyed a close relationship with Golders Green, Finchley and Hampstead Garden Suburb United Synagogue Communities. In 2004 Dayan Gelley accepted the position of Rabbi at the Ohr Chodosh Synagogue in Golders Green.
Dayan Ivan Binstock
Dayan Binstock was educated at Hackney Downs School and University College London, where he obtained a degree in Chemistry. He remained at the college to do postgraduate research. He studied at the Etz Chaim Yeshiva, London, Jews' College and the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Dayan Binstock has served a number of London communities, beginning in 1972 with the South East London District Synagogue, he subsequently served at Finsbury Park Synagogue (1974-78), New Synagogue (1978-80), Golders Green Synagogue (1980-1996) and is currently Rabbi of St John's Wood Synagogue. He joined the London Beth Din in 1989. Dayan Binstock is actively involved in adult education and pastoral counselling. He is the Principal of the North West London Jewish Day School.
Dayan Dovid Shlomo Englander
Dayan Englander has been an active Dayan at a number of batei din for several years.
Known as a go-to address for responses to halachic enquiries, Dayan Englander has built up a reputation for applying halacha in a way that is relevant to modern life.
Dayan Englander studied at the internationally-renowned Institute for Dayanim in Israel, led by Rabbi Yosef Fleischmann where he successfully completed dayanut.
More recently, he has been serving as a Dayan on two American batei din: Bais Havaad in Lakewood, New Jersey and Kollel Harabanim in Monsey, New York.
Dayan Shmuel Simons
Dayan Simons was born in London and was educated at the Hasmonean Grammar School (as it was then known) before moving to Gateshead Yeshiva. He continued his learning at the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnai Brak and subsequently spent eleven years in the Gateshead Kollel where, in his final year, he was a member of the Kollel Executive.
For eight years, until the Spring of 2006 when he was invited to join the London Beth Din, Dayan Simons was Rosh Chaburah of the Golders Green Kollel. Dayan Simons has considerable expertise in Halacha and has published a sefer, 'Meil Shmuel'. He has lectured in Talmud, Halacha and Hashkafa.
Dayan Eliezer Zobin
Dayan Zobin grew up in London and was educated at Hasmonean High School. He continued his learning at a number of Yeshivot in Israel, including Yeshivat Be'er Yaakov, and under Rav Yitzchok Soloveitchik. He graduated with an MA in Jewish Education from the University of London.
Amongst other roles, he is Rabbinic adviser to Immanuel College, Rabbinic Patron of The British Association of Orthodox Jewish Mental Health Professionals, Rabbinic Patron of Chana and Rabbi of the Sinai Youth Movement. Dayan Zobin has served as Rosh Beit HaMedrash at LSJS, and has taught on the Montefiore College Semicha programme. In 2019, Dayan Zobin became the Rav of Ner Yisrael Community in Hendon and he joined the London Beth Din in 2023.
Our Professional Team
David Frei - Registrar & External and Legal Services Director
David was born in London and was educated at Hasmonean Grammar School, Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh and University College London, where he obtained a Law Degree.
He qualified as a solicitor in 1980 and practised law in the West End between 1980 and 1999, specialising in property litigation. He has held the role of Registrar to the London Beth Din since 1999 and took on the additional role of Director of External and Legal Services in January 2009. David is also a member of the Board of Deputies Family Law Committee. He was a Governor of Hasmonean High School for fifteen years.
Rabbi Dr Yoni Birnbaum - Director of Geirut Department & Deputy Registrar
Rabbi Dr Yoni Birnbaum was born in London and studied at Gateshead Yeshiva, the world-renowned Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak and Kollel Darchei Horaah in Jerusalem. He is also a law graduate, and holds a Masters and PhD in Jewish Studies from University College London. He was the 2018 Daniel Jeremy Silver Fellow at Harvard University and has lectured extensively to a wide variety of audiences.
Rabbi Birnbaum served as Rabbi of the Hadley Wood Jewish Community for ten years and now leads the Toras Chaim community in Hendon.
Ela Nicolaides - Get Case Director
Ela joined as a Get Case Director in 2022, primarily to assist the Beth Din with Gittin and cases of Get refusal.
She is a solicitor with 20+ years’ experience. Most of her career has been spent in the City specialising in Finance Law, but she has also spent time practising at a Family Law firm, dealing with Child Protection and related matters.
Roz Goldschneider - Conversion Clerk
Roz joined us in 2021 and provides clerical support for the London Beth Din Geirut department including the running of the files, corresponding with applicants, host families and tutors and arranging appointments for conversion applicants.
Vivienne Pottesman - Clerk
Vivienne has been part of the London Beth Din team for well over 20 years, and was previously a legal secretary.
Together with Suzanne, she deals with telephone enquiries, file administration, and arranging appointments and hearings for those meeting with the Dayanim.
Vivienne and Suzanne are approachable and supportive and have much experience of dealing with delicate and sensitive issues and are always available to guide you through the Get process.
Suzanne Phillips - Clerk
Suzanne first joined the LBD well over 20 years ago. Together with Vivienne, she deals with telephone enquiries, file administration, and arranging appointments and hearings for those meeting with the Dayanim.
Suzanne and Vivienne are approachable and supportive and have much experience of dealing with delicate and sensitive issues and are always available to guide you through the Get process.