Cash-strapped Liverpool shul makes minister redundant

By Josh Jackman, February 16, 2015

Crippling finances have forced a major Liverpool synagogue to part company with its popular minister.

Childwall Hebrew Congregation has agreed a redundancy package with Rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg, having calculated that its remaining reserves of £25,000 would be exhausted by the end of 2016 if he remained. The minister, who joined the synagogue in 2011, will serve three months’ notice.


Merged South Woodford and Waltham Forest shuls get started

February 16, 2015

The Woodford Forest United Synagogue, formed by the merger of the Wanstead and Woodford and Waltham Forest congregations, has held its first Shabbat services. The merged congregation is worshipping in the Churchfields building that was home to Wanstead and Woodford and has a membership of over 1,200. Rabbi Yaakov Singer is its interim minister.


Glasgow minister promotes staying power

By Anna Behrmann, January 12, 2015

The new rabbi of Glasgow’s Newton Mearns Synagogue wants to re-engage with the younger community and encourage people to come back to shul.

Rabbi Eli Wolfson, 32, who previously served as the city’s youth and community rabbi, pledged to bolster the synagogue’s Jewish social and educational framework in the hope of stemming the drift of the young generation to London or Manchester.


Bournemouth shul's search for site hits 'dead end'

January 2, 2015

Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation’s leaders called a special general meeting to discuss the sale of its 110-year-old town centre synagogue and relocation to new premises.

More than 100 members expressed their views about Wootton Gardens having become unsuitable as it requires modernisation, is in the “wrong” neighbourhood and in need of repairs.


Two more east London shuls to merge

By Simon Rocker, November 27, 2014

For the second time in less than a month, two synagogues in the east London area have decided to merge.

When Clayhall and Newbury Park in Essex agreed to join forces, it was the first merger of United shuls in a decade.

Now, members of the US Wanstead and Woodford Synagogue and the independent Waltham Forest Hebrew Congregation have followed suit, voting overwhelmingly for union last week.


Security group advises vigilance around shuls in wake of attacks

By Sandy Rashty, November 19, 2014

Security levels around UK synagogues have been raised in the wake of the terrorist attack on a Jerusalem shul yesterday and the stabbing of Charedi man in Antwerp on Saturday.


The shul that time forgot

By Isabel De Bertodano, November 6, 2014

One night last week as I was walking through central Lublin with a group of Jews from London, an Orthodox rabbi among us was approached by an excited, middle aged man wearing a black hoodie.

Pawel Matraszek accosted the rabbi, speaking in German and then Yiddish. "I can't believe it, a real Jewish rabbi is here," he said.


Pioneering gay rabbi dies

By Rosa Doherty, October 27, 2014

Rabbi Sheila Shulman of London's gay and lesbian synagogue, Beit Klal, has died.

Rabbi Shulman was one of the first openly gay rabbis to be ordained in the UK.

She applied to Leo Baeck College as a lesbian feminist in 1984 and in 1989 she was ordained.

Rabbi Shulman died on Saturday October 25 aged 77.


Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs to rebuild Manchester synagogue

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 2, 2014

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs will rebuild a synagogue as part of a multi-million pound property deal agreed today.

The former Manchester United footballers, who own the Jackson’s Row Development Company, have finalised an agreement to turn Manchester Reform Synagogue into a community complex.


We don't repossess the shul, we just destroy it

By Lawrence Joffe, August 7, 2014

Down the road from more famous, 16th century Paradesi Synagogue of Cochin, south-west India, stands a dilapidated yet even older house of worship.

The Kadavumbhagom Synagogue was founded in 1551 and once housed a Talmud Torah and an adult yeshivah. But it was sold off when most congregants emigrated to Israel decades ago.