Tony Bayfield

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Tony Bayfield CBE
BornIlford, Essex (now in Greater London), UK
OccupationReform rabbi
President of the Movement for Reform Judaism 2011–16

Anthony Michael "Tony" Bayfield[1] CBE is a Reform rabbi and former President of the Movement for Reform Judaism,[2] the second largest organisation of synagogues in Britain.

Bayfield was born in 1946[1] in Ilford, Essex (now in Greater London). He was educated at the Royal Liberty Grammar School in Romford and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He studied law and had a doctoral place at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology and then moved to the Leo Baeck College to train as a rabbi. He received rabbinic ordination (semichah) in 1972 from rabbis John Rayner, Hugo Gryn and Louis Jacobs.

He was a congregational rabbi in Surrey for a decade, then director of the Sternberg Centre for Judaism in Finchley. He was head of the Movement for Reform Judaism from 1994 (when the organisation was known as Reform Synagogues of Great Britain) until 2011.[2] From 2011 to 2016 he was President of the organisation.[2][3]

Bayfield is a specialist in modern Jewish thought and contemporary Reform Judaism. He also specialises in Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim dialogue and has published quite widely in this area. Bayfield has also written about Christian–Jewish reconciliation.[4]

He is a widower with three children and six grandchildren. His younger daughter, Miriam Berger, received semichah in July 2006 and is a respected rabbi in her own right.[5] He is a member of North Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth Gardens). He is a passionate supporter of West Ham United F.C.

Bayfield was awarded a CBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List for services to Reform Judaism.

London's National Portrait Gallery holds a photographic portrait of him by Don McCullin.[1]


  • Prejudice – Jewish responses (Publisher: Michael Goulston Educational Foundation, Duke Street House 1973)
  • Churban: The murder of the Jews of Europe (Jewish responses) ISBN 978-0-907372-00-4
  • Sinai, Law and Responsible Autonomy: Reform Judaism and the Halakhic Tradition ISBN 978-0-947884-09-3
  • He Kissed Him and They Wept: Towards a Theology of Partnership ISBN 978-0-334-02826-0
  • Dialogue With a Difference ISBN 978-0-334-01980-0
  • Islam and Global Dialogue ISBN 978-0-7546-5307-3
  • Beyond the Dysfunctional Family: Jews, Christians and Muslims in Dialogue With Each Other and With Britain ISBN 978-1-468-16747-4



  1. ^ a b c "Tony Bayfield (1946–), Rabbi and Head of Movement for Reform Judaism". Collections. National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Rocker, Simon (1 November 2010). "Reform leader Bayfield to retire early". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Sir Trevor Chinn succeeds Rabbi Professor Tony Bayfield as Reform Judaism President" (Press release). Movement for Reform Judaism. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  4. ^ The Vatican and Jewry
  5. ^ Gordon, Olivia (1 July 2012). "How I make it work: Miriam Berger". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 4 April 2014.

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