Community News September – February 2017
News updates from our communities
In November, BHNY welcomed the Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Dovid Lau shlita to join them for Kabbolas Shabbos. Rav Lau also gave a brief drosho after davening.
The following week, the Shabbos Project grand finale featured popular singer Eitan Katz making his debut at the shul. The event was a huge success with standing room only after all the tickets sold out!
At the beginning of January, the renowned speaker Rabbi Moshe Weinberger shlita was welcomed to the BHNY shalosh seudos. And January also featured a three-week series examining contemporary issues affecting the property sector, Dayonim from the Federation Beis Din looked at real case studies through the prism of the shulchan oruch and contemporary acharonim. A large audience was present on each occasion.
In early September 2016 a very pleasant afternoon was presented by Ian Woolf when over 70 people sat down to enjoy a Talk and the Music of Jerome Kern. This was preceded by a three-course lunch and during the middle of the afternoon there was a break for tea and coffee with cakes and biscuits. All who attended were very complimentary of the afternoon.
Chanukah was celebrated at Croydon Shul, this year on the 6th night, when over 50 people joined us in the shul hall on the evening of 29th December for a bumper candle lighting. Everyone brought along their own menorahs and as well as the large shul menorah, when all candles were lit, it was a lovely sight to see. After the Chanukah celebrations, hot salt beef sandwiches were served with shul-made latkes.
Finchley is about to embark on a very exciting project to build a simcha hall and community centre.
Recent programmes include the launch of the weekly family learning programme on Motsei Shabbat, comprising maariv and havdalah followed by learning, refreshments and prizes – and even Uncle Doovy!
In February. a Friday night dinner with guest speaker Rabbi Laitner is on the agenda, as well as the resumption of the monthly ladies’ Rosh Chodesh shiur. The shul is also hosting a trip to Poland between 12th and 15th February.
KEHILLAS NETZACH YISROEL
On shabbos Chanukah, Netzach held a treasure hunt during the kiddush. Adults and children
worked together to find the Chanukah related clues enjoying the competitive nature of the event. There were prizes for all 70 children who attended.
Over 120 people attended a Friday night dinner during the week of Shabbat UK led by Yossi Fachler. Other events included a klezmer evening, a fundraising quiz attended by 90 people, and a pre-Chanukah extravaganza led by Rabbi Portnoy. Loughton also arranged a communal menorah lighting in conjunction with Buckhurst Hill Chabad
Visitors to Loughton included the pupils of Chigwell School, and Mr J Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies.
New activities this term include a Mums and Tots group led by Rebbetzin Portnoy, and a breakfast shacharit every other Sunday.
Machzike Hadath hit 2017 running by launching a new series of monthly ‘at home’ Oneg Shabbos evenings hosted by members of the kehilla. An opportunity for relaxed get-togethers, informal talks and, of course, refreshments.
The shul’s morning Daf Yomi shiur led by Rabbi CZ Pearlman has recently had its Bava Metzia siyum and is now ploughing through Bava Basra with aplomb. (to join call/text 07770 890789)
Also, the first of its ‘Shabbos Scholars in Residence’ events will begin on March 4th (Parsha Teruma) with Professor Sasha Stern from the the UCL Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, who will be giving a series of talks throughout the day. All are welcome!
Shabbos Parshas Toldos marked the 18th anniversary of Kehillas Ohr Yerushalayim, the Federation’s flagship kehilla in Manchester. The community celebrated with a Shabbaton culminating in a Melave Malka on Motzei Shabbos, including a Siyum Hashas which had been learnt by members over the last 18 months in honour of the occasion.
Shabbos began in shul for the men, with Kabolas Shabbos led by guest chazzan Refoel Muller accompanied by his son, with inspiring words from Dayan Lichtenstein, Rosh Beis Din of The Federation. Parallel to this, the ladies and girls had their own Kabolas Shabbos in the Beis Yaakov School with a short shiur by Mrs Shiffy Silverstone. The men made their way from shul after davening to join the women and children for a communal Friday night seudah attended by over 400 people. There was a warm family atmosphere for which the kehilla is renowned, enhanced by lively zemiros, a Dvar Torah by Mr Dani Epstein as well as children’s activities during the meal. Shabbos morning davening was followed by a gala Kiddush in the shul hall to celebrate this special milestone.
On Motzei Shabbos the men, women and high school children returned to the Beis Yaakov Hall for a Melave Malka and Siyum Hashas. The kehilla was honoured by the attendance of the Moro D’Asra Rav Schneebalg, Rosh Beis Din of the Federation Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein, Guest Speaker Rav Shraga Feivel Zimmerman Moro D’Asra of Gateshead and Dayan Yonoson Hool also of the Federation. The Rov, Rabbi Berel Cohen addressed the kehilla and was honoured with being mesayem Shas. Spontaneous dancing broke out after the culmination of the Hadran with all men joining in a lively rekida. In his keynote address, Rav Zimmerman encouraged the kehilla to continue to strive in Torah, tefilla and chessed under the caring guidance of their esteemed Rov. Divrei Brocho were also given by Rav Schneebalg and Dayan Hool. The evening was ably chaired by Trustee of the shul Mr Adam Bookman with musical entertainment provided by Eitan Freilich and band, his debut performance in Manchester, and was expertly catered by Mr Yoeli Wreschner. All members left with special memories, inspired, unified and proud to be part of such a unique community.
On Tisha B’av there was a well-attended afternoon programme of shiurim. First to speak was Rabbi Dovid Eisenberg, Rov of Shrubberies. Then the shul was privileged to be addressed by Leslie Kleinman who recounted his youth growing up in Sighet, near Satmar, in Romania and his experiences during the rise of Nazism and in various concentration camps. Everyone present were moved and inspired by his amazing story.
On Hoshano Rabo night the shul hosted a learning programme in conjunction with PBM – Professionals Beis Medrash. The evening began with an introduction from the Rov, followed by chavrusa learning with prepared material. Rabbi Dovid Eisenberg closed the programme with a fascinating shiur based on the material learnt.
After the Yomim Tovim season, Ohr Yerushalayim was proud to host some world class speakers. In honour of ShabbatUK we were pleased to welcome Rabbi Dovid Tugendhaft, Rov of the Federation’s Nishmas Yisroel, Hendon, as guest speaker for Seuda Shlishis. Parshas Vayigash saw Rabbi Gershon Miller, Mashgiach of Gateshead Yeshiva, come to the shul and speak Friday night after Kabolas Shabbos. On Parshas Shemos we welcomed Rabbi Avrohom Horovitz, (son of Rabbi Boruch Horovitz – Rosh Yeshiva of Dvar Yerushalayim) retired chaplain in the US Army and executive director of American Friends of Yeshivas Dvar Yerushalayim who spoke Friday night between Kabolas Shabbos and Maariv.
Every fortnight there is a well-attended kids group for years 2-6 in the shul hall with davening, parsha stories and nosh. In addition there was a special candle lighting for children on Tuesday evening of Chanukah when the kids were addressed by Rabbi Avrohom Zeidman, Rov of Gift, enjoyed fresh doughnuts and were given Chanukah gelt by the Rov.
On the first day of Selichot Shomrei Hadath celebrated its 70th birthday with a special evening at the Camden Arts Centre. The President Charles Levin and Rabbi Mayerfeld both spoke in tribute to the shul, its founders, Rabbanim and the community. The highlight of the evening was when we were joined by Chief Rabbi Mirvis who offered divrei bracha and inspiring words for the future.
For Shabbat UK, the shul hosted Rabbi Sharon Shalom, Israel’s first Ethiopian Rabbi. He discussed his journey from Ethiopia to Israel as well as the complex issues surrounding minhagim and integration of the kibbutz galuyot into Eretz Yisrael.
On Shabbat Parshat Vayeitzei we were delighted to host a visit from both staff and residents of the Sydney Corob House – a Jewish Care home around the corner from the shul. Before kiddush they shared some of the highlights of what SCH does and offered opportunities as to how to get involved.
On 22 December 2016 Shomrei hosted a special lecture by Prof. Marc Shapiro entitled ‘Sense and Censorship: Is Historical Truth an Orthodox Value?’.
Shomrei held a Chanukah breakfast for the community focusing on the children. Additionally, members Shelley and Brendan Robinson hosted a party for adults on the second night of Chanukah. We joined in the charity project ‘The Sock Drop’ providing warm clothes for the needy.
Professor Jonathan Sarna, one of the world’s leading historians of American Jewry, spoke to the community on Sunday 29 January. The title of his talk was ‘Future Trends in American Jewish Life’. This talk was sponsored in conjunction with the Brandeis University Alumni Club of Great Britain.
The film premiere of Denial – the story of the Deborah Lipstadt libel case against Holocaust denier David Irving, was held on 18 January. Our member Anthony Julius features in the film as he played a major role in Mrs Lipstadt’s defence.
Q&A with Anthony Julius himself, along with Richard Rampton QC, was moderated by Shomrei member Anthony Metzer QC.
A pre-Yomim Noraim evening of inspiration and sweetness was organised by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Landau. Female members and visitors filled the Nathan Sadick Hall to hear Rebbetzin Aviva Landau speak on ‘The Sweetness of Rosh Hashanah’ and both men and women attended a talk by Rabbi Benji Landau on ‘Start as you mean to go on’. This was followed by Guest Speaker Rabbi Daniel Rowe, who spoke about ‘Hanging in the Balance; What is going on and what are we meant to be doing?’. At the end of the evening there was a wine-tasting event with the opportunity to purchase products from Kedem Europe, alongside a honey tasting with purchases from Munch’n’Crunch.
YAM filled the Leff Hall over the Yomim Noraim with more than 90 young adults attending from around Edgware and beyond. It was a most uplifting and inspirational experience.
The Shabbat UK Challah bake at the Yeshurun saw organiser Rebbetzin Aviva Landau draw over 50 ladies and girls to join her ”Generation to Generation’ themed evening.
Shabbat UK saw the kehilla joining YAM in the Leff Hall with over 120 members and visitors enjoying an amazing and uplifting Kabbalos Shabbos Service
A pre-Chanukah evening of light and inspiration for ladies and girls was organised by Rebbetzin Aviva Landau – a packed Leff hall saw ladies come for the cheese and wine refreshments and to listen to the dynamic and inspiring guest speak Philippa Gubbay, retelling the story of her incredible journey to Judaism.
Finally, at the end of November, Yeshurun celebrated its 70th anniversary with a magnificent Gala dinner. Several hundred people thoroughly enjoyed an evening of inspiration, friendship, entertainment and exquisite catering. Speeches were delivered by the shul Rov, Rabbi Alan Lewis, as well as Rosh Beis Din of the Federation, Dayan Y Y Lichtenstein, and guest speaker Rabbi Yechiel Emanuel, son-in-law of the late Dayan Lopian and Menahel of Yeshivas Beis HaTalmud, Manchester.