Luton's home win draws an encouraging crowd

By Jay Grenby, September 10, 2009

Fifty people attended the first Shabbat service at Luton Hebrew Congregation’s new synagogue, over double the normal turnout.

“We wanted to move in before the High Holy-Days to iron out any difficulties that might arise before we welcome a full house,” explained treasurer Jeff Solomons.

“But although the first service was meant to be relatively low key, we did organise a special kiddush which coincided with the 40th wedding anniversaries of two of our members.”

The acquisition of a former doctor’s surgery in Dunstable Road, near junction 11 of the M1, ended an eight-year search for permanent premises. Members have been involved in the refurbishment, knocking down walls to make a large prayer hall and installing new windows, security equipment and a temporary kitchen.

“Now we have our own permanent home again, as well as a full-time minister, we’d like to think that the community will grow,” Mr Solomons added.

The congregation is awaiting the completion of a new bimah and ark to replace the portable shul furnishings used during a series of temporary accommodations. Once these are installed, the shul will be formally dedicated. An extension incorporating a full-sized kitchen will be the second phase of the project.

Last updated: 2:10pm, September 10 2009