Elstree looking south to boost membership

By Jay Grenby, February 26, 2009

Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue is endeavouring to increase its 1,270-family membership through a recruitment drive.

Outlining the strategy in his Shabbat sermon, Rabbi Naftali Brawer said the focus would be on the south side of its catchment area, a favoured spot for young families.

A major selling point of the south-side efforts is Yavneh College, where Borehamwood has agreed use of the school’s synagogue for additional Shabbat and festival services.

“It’s the most beautiful little shul,” Rabbi Brawer said. “I regularly take services myself there.”

The Chief Rabbi will illustrate its integral place in the community’s operations when he conducts a Friday night Shabbaton at Yavneh next month before spending the rest of Shabbat with the Borehamwood congregation.

Rabbi Brawer added that to implement the management board’s plans, a team of young and energetic members was already engaged in promotional activities.

But there was no intention to “midwife” a new or independent congregation. The south-side minyan would be an essential part of the main community, and could avail itself of all the resources on offer.

Meanwhile, the fledgling Elstree and Borehamwood Masorti community has recently moved its regular services to a new base in a children’s centre on the south side of the high street.

Last updated: 12:38pm, July 8 2009