United Synagogue

Four women to stand for top synagogue jobs

By Sandy Rashty, April 24, 2013

The United Synagogue is likely to get its first woman chairman of a congregation when it hold its elections next month.

The Chief Rabbi and US leaders passed a ruling allowing women to become chairmen of synagogues last December. Women had previously been restricted to the roles of vice-chair or financial representative.


Watford's scroll of honour

By Jay Grenby, April 8, 2013

There was street dancing of a kind not usually seen in Watford as members of the local shul paraded a newly-restored Sefer Torah under the traditional chupah to its new home in the Nascot Road synagogue.

Watford Synagogue’s first Hachnasat Sefer Torah celebration marked the dedication of the scroll in memory of popular congregant Sam Keen, who died in 2011 aged 27 after a long illness.


Full time marks start of Chingford's future

By Jay Grenby, April 8, 2013

Less than a year after being under threat of closure, Highams Park and Chingford Synagogue has upgraded to full member status of the United Synagogue.

The move was a “no brainer”, said Steven Strum, chair of a new and energetic board of management. Despite the reservations of some of the old guard, “once we looked into the matter, it was an obvious decision for our board.


Rabbis, we have a problem

By Michael Freedland, April 7, 2013

Let's get one thing straight. I am inclined to like rabbis. I am stimulated sitting at the feet of the exceptional ones. A brilliant sermon has even been known to keep me awake.


Footballing rabbi scores highly with Richmond Synagogue

By Jay Grenby, April 1, 2013

A rabbi who was once on the books of the Reading and Swindon Town football academies has met Richmond Synagogue’s selection goals.

Rabbi Jonny Hughes and his wife Chana, currently the associate rabbinic couple at Hendon Synagogue, start at Richmond in November, where they will lead a congregation of over 200 members. The number of young families is growing and there is a thriving cheder.


Pesach’s supermarket sweep

By Angela Epstein, March 22, 2013

It was like a scene from one of those wartime espionage movies. No sooner had I lifted the seemingly innocuous package from the shelf of my local deli, than I felt the cold slap of a recriminatory hand on my shoulder.

In tones of sotto voce urgency, the owner of said arm hissed in my ear. "That stuff is much cheaper at the supermarket".


Wanstead shul goes for full status with United Synagogue

March 4, 2013

Wanstead and Woodford Synagogue congregants have voted for the shul to switch from affiliated to full United Synagogue member status.

Founded in 1948, Wanstead and Woodford had over 800 family members at its peak. Today’s membership is around 500.


More women's Megillah readings at United Synagogues

By Simon Rocker, February 7, 2013

United Synagogue congregations are to host a record number of women’s Megillah recitals at Purim.

Finchley Synagogue, home of Chief Rabbi-elect Ephraim Mirvis, and Hampstead Garden Suburb are among communities where a woman will read the Book of Esther at a service for women on synagogue premises for the first time.


An embarrassment

January 10, 2013

When this week's Jewish Leadership Council delegation to Downing Street was revealed it contained double the amount of women from the last such occasion. So should the JLC be applauded? Only if you think that moving from one woman to two is an achievement rather than an embarrassment.


Suburb rabbi is off to Cape Town

By Simon Rocker, January 10, 2013

Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue’s associate rabbi, Anthony Knopf, is leaving at the end of the month to head a congregation in South Africa.

Rabbi Knopf, 33, who joined the synagogue as community director six years ago, will become the rabbi of the Camps Bay shul in Cape Town.