United Synagogue

Young idea

April 2, 2015

The United Synagogue's new Young People and Young Families division has appointed David Collins as director.


Shul quits Board - 'it's not good value'

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2015

Leaders of Catford and Bromley Synagogue in south London have decided to leave the Board of Deputies on financial grounds.

Joe Burchell, chairman of the United Synagogue affiliate, said it would not send a deputy to the Board's next triennium because "we do not think it's good value".

It costs a synagogue such as Catford and Bromley £495 annually to send a deputy to the Board.


US urged to help synagogues deal with failing rabbis

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2015

The United Synagogue should make it easier for communities to dispense with under-performing rabbis, its council heard this week.

Stanmore Synagogue representative Saul Taylor said that while, in general, the US was served by a "very high quality rabbinate", it needed to do more to help ministers who were "not performing".

But where there was no improvement, it was "near impossible" for comm


Partnership minyans have their benefits

By Simon Griver, March 26, 2015

The United Synagogue should recognise the positive side of partnership minyans, a trustee of the organisation said this week.

Jacqui Zinkin argued that such services, even if not allowed on US premises, could help bring people into US shuls.

Over the past year and a half, partnership minyans - where women, as well as men, can read from the Torah and lead certain prayers - have sprung up in


United Synagogue attacks Federation meat operation as 'jeopardising shechita'

By Simon Rocker, March 13, 2015

The United Synagogue has hit out at the Federation of Synagogues’ new kosher meat operation, claiming that it could lead to price rises.

The Federation’s mehadrin meat range – aimed at strictly Orthodox consumers – went on sale in one London shop on Wednesday.


Notts still keen to join US despite rabbi's opposition

By Simon Rocker, March 5, 2015

Lay leaders of Nottingham Hebrew Congregation are pressing ahead with plans to join the London-based United Synagogue despite the steadfast opposition of the community's rabbi.

In a letter to members, Nottingham's acting president Stuart Joseph wrote that a "large majority" of the executive had last week approved a deal with the US.

However, he apologised for postponing a ballot of Nottingha


US 'must shift resources to local shuls'

By Simon Rocker, February 26, 2015

The former chairman of one of the United Synagogue's largest communities says its new strategic review could be pivotal if the organisation can take the steps necessary to implement it.

Lord Mendelsohn, who was a strong advocate of change in the US when chairing Finchley Synagogue, said that "there needs to be a tremendous shift of resources from the centre to local communities".

The review,


Time to change: we must adapt say shul leaders

By Simon Rocker, February 19, 2015

The United Synagogue should play a greater leadership role in British Jewry while offering more cultural programmes to attract secular Jews, a major review has concluded.

Europe's largest synagogue body must move away from regarding shuls as "religious sanctuaries" and make its centres more welcoming if it is to succeed.


Young chefs preparing to be charitable

February 19, 2015

Families have been cooking up a storm during half-term as part of a United Synagogue campaign to support the less fortunate.

Soup, pasta and desserts were prepared at culinary sessions involving mums and children at the Mill Hill, Stanmore and Muswell Hill synagogues for local homeless shelters and vulnerable members of participants' communities.


Interfaith group drops rabbi as patron after only two weeks

By Marcus Dysch, February 9, 2015

An interfaith conflict-resolution group has reversed its decision to make a leading rabbi a patron due to past comments he has made on Israel and the Palestinians.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet had been appointed by Faith Matters only a fortnight ago.