Baroness Julia Neuberger

Category: 1990s /  All Harkness Stories /  Health & Social Care /  Humanities /  Politics & Public Services / 

Baroness Julia Neuberger (HF 1991-92) was no stranger to challenge when she applied to be a Harkness Fellow for the 1991 intake. Prevented from studying Assyriology at Cambridge (she was refused entry to Turkey, because she was British, and to Iraq, because she was Jewish), she studied Hebrew and was ordained as a rabbi aged 27, the second female rabbi in the UK, but the first to be responsible for a synagogue which she ran until shortly before her fellowship. Immediately before her Fellowship, she spent 2 years at the King’s Fund Institute, looking at Research Ethics Committees (IRBs) in the UK, and published a report which led to limited government and medical royal college action to embed review in law and guidance. During her fellowship she studied healthcare ethics at Harvard, looking at values education for young healthcare professionals, hoping to bring best practice back to the UK. On her return Julia became Chair of Camden and Islington Community Health Services NHS Trust (1992 to 1997) and Chief Executive of the King's Fund from (1997 - 2004). She was Chancellor of the University of Ulster from 1994–2000, and has been involved in a large number of voluntary and philanthropic roles. Julia broadcasts regularly on Pause for Thought, on BBC Radio 2, and has published widely on matters of ethics, morality and caring for older people and the dying. She chaired the independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway (for dying patients) and is at present vice chair of the independent review of the Mental Health Act. She was awarded a DBE in 2003 and sits in the House of Lords as an independent. She the Senior Rabbi at the West London Synagogue.