Meet the Council

Jon Gouldman – President (Ex-Officio)

Stephen Abrahams – Fundraising & Membership

Shirley Epstein – Social & Welfare

Malcolm Hyams – Maintenance

Gerald Langman – Finance

Graham Stone – Health & Safety and Security

Stephen Abrahams

I was born in Liverpool in 1944 and attended Liverpool Hebrew Primary
School and was 4th generation at the school. My father and many relatives
were active in Jewish communal affairs in Liverpool.

​I attended Liverpool Institute High School for boys from 1955 until 1961
having passed the 11+. The following were at the school at the same
time—Rabbi Pink’s father, Paul McCartney,George Harrison, Peter Sissons
and Bill Kenwright. I enjoyed studying languages-French and Spanish as
well as History.

​On leaving school with some GCE O and A levels I embarked on a career in
financial services initially in Liverpool and moved to Birmingham in 1971.

​I am married to Ruth who was born in Sunderland and we have 3 grown up
children as well as several grandchildren. Ruth has for the past 13 years
been co-ordinator of the Thursday Club for the senior members of our

​My hobbies include gardening family genealogy and creative writing.

My association with Solihull Hebrew Congregation goes back over 35 years.

Shirley Epstein

I am the only woman on the Council of Solihull Shul but here is a little
bit of my past history. I met and married my dear husband Paul as a very
young bride and we lived initially in Golders Green for a few years, when
I had my first son, Jeffrey. Shortly after that, we moved to Stanmore in
Middlesex, where our next two children, Murray and Alison, were born.
After a few years, we needed more space as Paul’s father came to live with
us and Stanmore was exorbitantly expensive, at least for us, so we moved
to the then little known area of Bushey Heath, just up the hill from
Stanmore. At that time, most people shuddered at the mention of the word
”Bushey” because then, all that people knew of that area was the
cemetery. That all changed, however, once we had established our small
community, which it was then, not unlike Solihull Shul today. Over the
following years, more and more young marrieds moved to that area, as – at
that time – it was cheaper than Stanmore. How times change, as now Bushey
and Bushey Heath are extremely expensive areas in which to start married

We actually spent about 42 years in the Bushey area, during which time we
both became very involved in the many activities of that Shul and indeed
both served on the Board of Management there. I myself completed 25 years
of being a Board Member (never a “bored” member!) and the community went
from very small in those early days to the enormous vibrant one it is
today of more than 2,500 FAMILIES!

For many different reasons, we decided we wanted a change and moved “oop
North” about 8 years ago and in fact Solihull has always reminded me very
much of the surrounding areas that we left behind, such as Chesham and
Amersham. We were made very welcome in the Solihull community and even
started to get involved Shul activities once again. Unfortunately, my dear
husband became ill and I was left on my own after a few short years but I
continue to take an active part wherever I can be of any help.

I have always advocated the inclusion of women in Shul affairs, wherever
halachically possibly and will NEVER subscribe to that man-held belief
that we are second-class citizens, religiously-speaking. I will continue
to make sure that our views are heard and noted because I know that all
you women will agree with me when I say that without us, where on earth
would they be!!

Malcolm Hyams

I was born in Birmingham and moved to Solihull in 1973 when Annette and I
got married. I joined the Solihull Hebrew Congregation soon after.

We have both been involved with the Congregation for many years.

I am a keen dinghy sailor and was very competitive, I still sail as much
as I can still taking part in National events. I was also an amateur pilot
for many years.

In my business life I have been involved in plastics and run successful
companies, achieving the Queens Award for Export in 1988.

Since joining the executive of the Synagogue I have been succesful in
identifying many areas that we could save money and have negotiated new
deals with suppliers cutting many thousands of pounds of expenses of the
congregation. In my roles as holder of the Maintainance Portfolio I have
worked hard to refurbish our premises. In the past couple of years we
have recarpetd the shul and hall, fitted new blinds, refurbished the
toilet and cloakroom area and paved a new path to the gates. I am very
proud of our shul and community centre and particularly of our beautiful

Gerald Langman

I was born in Cape Town South Africa where I attended School and
University, graduating as a doctor in 1990 and pathologist in 1999. I
married Adrienne in 2000 and the following year left South Africa to take
up a position as a pathologist in Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. It
didn’t take long before we joined Solihull Shul and have been members for
almost 17 years. During that time we have had 2 children, Hayley and Ryan
who have provided us with much nachas over the years. I work long hours at
the hospital and with fitting in regular gym sessions and bringing up
teenagers there is little time for other activities. I joined the Shul
Council in 2014 and became Honorary Treasurer in 2015.

Graham Stone

I was born in North London and lived in Hornsey till the age of 6 when my
parents moved to Birmingham for work reasons. I attended the old
Birmingham Hebrew School (forerunner of the King David School) as did our
3 children. At 16 I spent 6 months just outside Boston USA having won a
youth leadership course. Following secondary school I attended Birmingham
College of Food (now part of University College Birmingham. I went into
the hospitality world which included a 6 month stint in a Zurich
Avril, who is from Cardiff; we met in 1966 and we were married in 1968 in
the now defunct Penylan Synagogue.
My main interests are my work as an owner of a small business selling
commercial catering equipment. Other interests include: acting as Police
Liaison Officer for CST having worked as a volunteer for over 40 years. I
am an avid collector of mint Israeli and British stamps; family genealogy;
Israeli affairs and of course our beautiful grandchildren.