Full time for St Albans
St Albans Synagogue is to become a full member of the United Synagogue, congregants having overwhelmingly supported an EGM motion to switch from affiliated to constituent status.
The US is to make a substantial investment in the future of the 130-member congregation by agreeing to fund the employment of a young rabbinic couple who will take the community forward and make the city centre shul the hub of an expanding array of activities.
"We want our community to grow," said St Albans vice-chair Karen Appleby. "By joining the US, we will have access to support and finances we would not otherwise have. We are delighted the US shares our vision of the potential of the St Albans area as a magnet for Jewish families wanting to combine the benefits of living in a tranquil and appealing out-of-town environment with ease of access to London."
Helping to put the case for the switch were David Kaplan, US community services director, and Geoff Hartnell, on his last official outing as US treasurer.
Describing it as a "win-win situation" for St Albans, Mr Kaplan predicted that the "warm and friendly" shul could be the centre of a new tide of Jewish population growth. "We will be working together to make sure that this potential growth is realised."
Mr Hartnell highlighted the "tremendous co-operation" between the St Albans lay leadership and the US community development division.