About HJPS

Governor biographies

To download a PDF of Governors Register of Interests, please click here.
To download a PDF of Governor Attendance for Committee Meetings 2017/18 & 2018/19 please click here.
To download a PDF of Governor Attendance for FGB Meetings  2017 /18 & 2018/19, please click here.

Rita Alak-Levi - Headteacher

I was appointed Headteacher at HJPS in 2019. Previously, I held management posts in schools over a 28 year period, receiving an Excellent and Senior Teacher status in only my second year of teaching. I have taught every year group in Key Stages and 1 and 2 in six different but amazing schools and I was honoured to be one of the first Advanced Skills Teachers in the London Borough of Barnet.

Joe Arazi - Foundation Governor

I joined the Governing Body in 2016 as a Foundation Governor. My wife Melanie and I have 4 sons, all of whom have either attended or still attend HJPS. I practice as a Solicitor and head up the in-house law firm of a large insurance company. I feel very passionately about ensuring our children benefit from both a strong Jewish and secular education. I sit on the Premises and Admissions sub-committees and I am also the Link Governor for Jewish Studies.

Lily Ashkenazi-Bakes - Parent Governor

I joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in November 2017. I live in Bushey with my husband Maurice and 4 of our children, Talia, Isaac, Rafi and Aviva who are in Years 2, 3, 5 and Reception at HJPS. I was a lawyer for 7 years prior to becoming a television producer at the BBC. Currently I am helping on the Finance and Fundraising Committees of the Governing Body.

Iain Blakeley - (Chair) Foundation Governor

Having joined the Governing Body in September 2012, I am now proud to be Chair of Governors at HJPS. I have previously chaired the Education, Premises and PR Committees and currently sit on both the Education and Staffing Committees. I have three daughters, one of whom is at the school in Year 6. Our elder two children graduated from HJPS with strong values and a pride in being Jewish. I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, working in commercial property investment and asset management and am pleased to be able to utilise my professional skills and experience to the benefit of the school.

Adam Bright - Staff Governor

I have been working at HJPS for 2 years now. I was elected as a staff Governor in April 2019. I currently teach year 5 and am the science coordinator for the school. As a class teacher I have great insight to the day to day issues that arise and bring this knowledge to the governing body. I am very proud to represent my peers as the staff governor for the school and am driven to help ensure the on-going success of everything that we do here.

Debbie Cane - Parent Governor

I joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in April 2016. I live in Bushey with my husband, Adam and 2 daughters, Abigail and Emily who both attend HJPS. My work on the Governing Body includes being Chair of Staffing and on the finance committee. My professional background is in accountancy and I am currently a Tax Director at a large professional services firm. I hope to use my skills to give something back to the HJPS community, of which I am proud to be part of.

Robert Cohen - Foundation Governor

I am the father of 2 boys both at HJPS. I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and the Finance Director of a company that sells car paint and consumables to garages around the country. I currently sit on the Finance and Premises committees, both of which are absolutely key to ensuring the schools runs successfully and in the interests of all staff and pupils. I am also particularly keen to develop the school’s physical education and sports programmes.

Amanda Greenberg - LEA Governor

I joined HJPS in November 2018 as LEA Governor responsible for Fundraising and to be Chair of the PR committee. I have over 10 years experience working within the non-profit sector, with my last role as Fundraising Manager for a Jewish secondary school. As a parent of a daughter in Year 3, I am fully committed to the school and to helping raise any necessary funds.

Jeremy Harris - Foundation Governor

I joined the Governing Body in October 2018 as a Foundation Governor and as an “independent” where my two daughters attend different schools in the area. I currently sit on the Education and Premises Committees. I hope that my experience of having children at other schools will help bring a different and fresh perspective to the education committee. Having worked as a specialist Property Litigation Lawyer in my practice in Hampstead for a number of years, I hope to put that property experience to good use on the Premises Committee.

Tony Jacobs - Foundation Governor

I am delighted to have been voted as Parent Governor (2014) and look forward to contributing towards the school's continued growth. I sit on both the Premises and PR committees, where I am able to offer my commercial expertise to the advantage of the school. I have been involved with the CST as a senior volunteer and instructor for over 25 years, and will help in any security matter in order that our children stay safe and secure.

Simon Joseph - Foundation Governor

I joined HJPS in October 2018 as a Foundation and Independent Governor. I sit on the Staffing Committee and the Admissions Committee. I am a lawyer with 25 years’ experience in business and the law and hope to bring my knowledge to assist the school in its development and progression. I have two children aged 17 and 15, both in secondary school and have lived in the area for 6 years.

Lara Lipsey - (Vice Chair) Foundation Governor

I joined the Governing Body in September 2016 and have recently been elected to Vice-Chair. I’m proud to be a Foundation Governor at HJPS. It is an outstanding school which combines strong secular and Jewish education in a warm and nurturing environment. I’m looking forward to using my professional expertise in public relations to further enhance the reputation of the school, in addition to my communal experience to maintain the ethos. I sit on the PR Committee and Chair the Staffing Committee. I am also a parent at the school.

Leigh Myers - Foundation Governor

I joined in 2016 and feel privileged to be part of the GB. I am committed to helping HJPS continue to strive for excellence. I am the chair of the Finance Committee and sit on the Admissions Committee. As a parent of two children at the school I have seen first-hand the excellent work of the staff and school and so have volunteered my time and skills. Professionally I am a Chartered Accountant, having spent several years in practice and I am currently Head of Finance at Dixons Carphone.

Geoff Strack – Associate Governor

Whole career in education; Primary, Secondary, University and Ofsted. Previously worked as a local authority adviser and was involved in the introduction of ICT in schools at a national and International level. This included working in the USA and for UNESCO and the British Council. Received the Hertfordshire Outstanding Governor Award 2017/2018. Am a governor now at four schools but have been with seven other schools and involved in four inspections in the last 18 months where my involvement contributed to improved outcomes. I have been an Associate Governors since March 2019.

Nadine Taylor - Parent Governor

Elected as a Parent Governor in November 2017, I live in Elstree with my husband Justin and my sons Joshua (Year 6) and Nathan (Year 4). Having successfully co-chaired the PTA, I was driven by a desire to do more for our school. As Chair of the Admissions Committee and through my involvement on the Finance Committee and other projects including Governance and GDPR, I look forward to contributing further to HJPS’s continued success in delivering outstanding Jewish education and academic excellence.

Abi Warren - Foundation Governor

I joined HJPS in October 2018 as a Foundation and independent Governor. I sit on the Staffing Committee and am the Link Governor for Inclusion and Safeguarding. I am a children's nurse and work with children with complex and palliative care needs, so hope to be able to use my experience of enabling children to get the most out of their education, regardless of their health or learning needs to support the school. I have two children in secondary school and have lived in the area for 9 years.
01923 855 857 admin@hjps.herts.sch.uk