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Death of Linda Bayfield

Last updated: 2003-07-19

Linda Bayfield

It is with deepest sorrow that we report the death early today of Linda Bayfield, wife of Rabbi Tony Bayfield, Chief Executive of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain. [RSGB] Mrs Bayfield was 55 years old and had been receiving treatment for cancer for the past three years.

Linda Bayfield [nee Rose] was born in  1947.  She and Rabbi Bayfield were married in 1969.   Mrs. Bayfield, having taught earlier at JFS Secondary School in Camden, became a teacher at Akiva Jewish Primary School in Finchley’s Sternberg Centre for Judaism in 1984 and in 1988 was appointed Deputy Head. In 1996 she became Head Teacher, a position she held until the onset of ill-health forced her to retire in 2000.

She took a full and active part in her dual roles; both that of Head of a successful school and also as partner of the leader of a religious Movement.  She accompanied Rabbi Bayfield on his many visits to Jewish communities in the UK and abroad, taking an active role in many of his educational and religious duties

Linda Bayfield is survived by her husband; son Daniel, a barrister; daughter Lucy, a teacher; her husband Matthew and their baby daughter Francesca; and Miriam, a rabbinical student at Leo Baeck College [LBC,] the rabbinical seminary for Reform and Liberal rabbis.

Andrew Gilbert Chairman of RSGB said, ‘Linda was such a special person..  She was kind and approachable, with a ready smile of welcome for everyone.  She had a deep and abiding commitment to the principles of Reform Judaism and was a pillar of great strength to Tony. Linda has been receiving cancer treatment for much of the past three years.  She has fought with supreme courage, continuing during periods of remission to take an active part in the life of the Reform Movement.  News of her death, while not unexpected, has been a great shock to the literally hundreds of people who loved and admired her.  She is a grievous loss to     Tony, her children and grand-daughter and all of us .  She will be greatly missed for her learning, teaching skills and great personal charm.’

The funeral takes place at Hoop Lane Cemetery, Golders Green  at midday on Tuesday 22 July.