Rabbi Sam Thurgood was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Durban. He studied under Rabbi Azriel Chaim Goldfein ztz”l at the Yeshivah Gedolah of Johannesburg where he received smicha in 2008. In his own words, he became a Rabbi because his three great loves in life are Hashem, the Jewish people, and teaching – and Rabbinic life exists in the intersection of these passions (he also loves jokes). Rabbi Thurgood has years of teaching experience in Johannesburg and Durban, and is grateful and proud to serve as the Rabbi of Beit Midrash Morasha – a community of warm, engaged, Zionistic and wonderful people. His favourite food at the Morasha brocha? Cheesecake and mini-quiches. (Not at the same time!)
Aviva Thurgood was born in Johannesburg and is a qualified Physiotherapist. She started full contact Karate at the age of eleven and currently holds a second Dan black belt. She has a passion for holistic good health – physical, emotional and spiritual. Her favourite book on the Parsha is “Twerski on Chumash” by Rabbi Dr Abraham Twerski.
Rabbi and Aviva were appointed to our community in November 2012, and on celebrating the milestone of three years, Rabbi expressed his gratitude to a community that taught him how to be a community Rabbi. “What makes the community so wonderful,” he said, “is that so many people place different emphasis on what makes a successful community. For some it is the learning, others the shul services. Yet others the children’s programmes, or the events, or the importance of security. But our members go beyond words and invest themselves and their time in the areas that they consider important, and it is this that makes what we have here so special.”