Brighton Reform votes for equality

July 28, 2011

Brighton and Hove Reform members have voted narrowly in favour of equal rights for women congregants.

A motion to support the "implementation of egalitarian rights for men and women in respect of religious practice and participation in services" was passed by a 36-28 majority at the synagogue AGM.

In a letter to congregants, warden Tony Rosenfield explained: "We are probably the only Reform


Author rabbi's heartfelt donation

By Jay Grenby, July 28, 2011

The literary efforts of Edgware Synagogue's Rabbi David Lister have helped the congregation to raise the funds for a defibrillator, allowing prompt treatment of cardiac arrests.

More than £500 was brought in from the the launch of Rabbi Lister's book, Intergalactic Judaism, at which he gave an audiovisual presentation on prayer and astrophysics, based on one of the book's chapters.


Rich talk for Israel critics

By Simon Rocker, July 28, 2011

Rabbi Danny Rich, the chief executive of Liberal Judaism, has defended his participation in an event predominantly featuring speakers from organisations highly critical of Israel.

He will be keynote speaker at a seminar next month on "Israel/ Palestine", organised in west London by a Liberal-affiliated synagogue, Beit Klal Yisrael (BKY).

Speakers include Diana Neslen of Jews for Justice for


Going for a song at Reform

July 21, 2011

Reform Judaism's Anglo-Jewish Music and Song-leading Conference attracted members from more 30 communities eager to enrich their congregations' musical experiences.

Studying with leading British and American Jewish musicians at the Sternberg Centre and Finchley Reform Synagogue, they had the opportunity to learn new melodies and choral harmonies for traditional prayers.


Dollis Hill shul closure agreed

By Simon Rocker, July 14, 2011

Dollis Hill United Synagogue is to close after its members agreed to call it a day. Its art deco synagogue was sold to Torah Temimah School in the 1990s but the congregation continued to hold services there.
However, with the remaining 130-odd members mostly over 70 and scattered far and wide Dollis Hill has been unable to muster a minyan for Shabbat morning in recent months.


Songbook is music to the ears of Reform

By Simon Rocker, July 14, 2011

The Reform movement has launched what is thought to be the first major new collection of synagogue music published in the UK for nearly a century.
Shirei Ha-t'fillah ("Songs of Prayer"), a compilation of sheet music and explanatory articles, was produced by Cantor Zoe Jacobs of Finchley Reform Synagogue and Rabbi Sybil Sheridan of Wimbledon Synagogue.

According to Cantor Jacobs, the last major


£2m is sought for historic shul repairs

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 8, 2011

Jewish Heritage UK director Dr Sharman Kadish has launched a campaign to attract £2 million to restore crumbling historic synagogues and preserve them as national heritage sites.


Struggling shul moves to church

By Jessica Elgot, July 7, 2011

Peterborough Synagogue has resumed services in a rented room in a local church after an emotional final Friday night in its premises for 57 years.

The United Synagogue is trying to sell the Cobden Avenue building for £75,000 but has yet to find a buyer.

Peterborough Mayor Paula Thacker was among the 30 people at the farewell service, where the attendance was swelled by a number of non-Jewis


Joining the rabbi doctors

By Simon Rocker, July 7, 2011

Rabbi Harvey Belovski of Golders Green Synagogue has joined the elite band of "Rabbi Drs" in Britain after being awarded a PhD by the University of London's Birkbeck College.

His thesis is on the thought of Rabbi Shemuel Bornstein, a Chasidic rebbe from Sochaczew in Poland, who died in 1926.

Rabbi Belovski began his doctoral research four years ago.


Home improvements

By Cecily Woolf, July 7, 2011

The 300-member Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue is selling the rear section of its Archie Fay House to help fund the shul's redevelopment project.

Vice-president Prue Baker said the aim was to provide "a fully accessible, energy efficient and attractive synagogue for our growing membership and a Progressive Jewish cultural centre for Sussex and the south coast."