United Synagogue

Polishing up their act for the festival

December 9, 2010

The silver cleaning programme started by the United Synagogue's Project Chesed and learning disability charity Kisharon has brought a shine to the menorot of many US shuls.

Kisharon adults with special needs have been busily engaged in the enterprise. It is part of the training and support geared towards developing members' skills and independence.


Shabbat-friendly lifts are on their way up

By Candice Krieger, December 2, 2010

A leading lift company has secured a contract with the United Synagogue to install a lift in St John's Wood Synagogue, north London, that is in compliance with Shabbat law.

The deal with Amalgamated Lifts follows the success of a previous contract for a disabled lift at Stanmore and Cannons Park Synagogue. The lifts operate automatically from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. Additionally, it must still comply with the strict rules and regulations in keeping with disabled lift installations in the UK.


Growing Tribe gets its Sefer Torah

August 12, 2010

The dedication of a new Sefer Torah was a highlight of the biggest ever summer camp of Tribe, the United Synagogue's youth arm.

Over 150 teenagers joined US leaders at the ceremony in Leicestershire, which was followed by a celebratory lunch.

Tribe executive director Rabbi Andrew Shaw said: "We are thrilled that Tribe now has its own Sefer Torah to use at its events. This is yet another important milestone in the amazing growth of our organisation over the last few years."

The camp attracted participants from London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.


Trainee ministers intern for Shavuot

May 21, 2010

A Shavuot intern programme is giving United Synagogue trainee ministers first-hand experience of the life of a community rabbi.

Under the scheme, Ben Kurzer has been assigned to Belmont, Elchonon Feldman to Borehamwood and Binny Fogelgarn to Edgware.

After spending Shavuot in their designated communities, their week ends on Sunday with a brunch with Dayan Yonason Abraham.


Luton synagogue to become full US member

By Jay Grenby, May 6, 2010

Luton Hebrew Congregation is to become a full constituent member of the United Synagogue.

Around half the community's 131 members attended an EGM to vote on a motion to end nearly 90 years of staunchly-maintained independence. Despite a long history of opposition, there was just one dissenting voice.

Synagogue chair Brian Green was delighted by the overwhelming support for the move. "We have recognised that as a smaller independent community on the fringes of London, we could no longer achieve further growth on our own.


Rabbis discuss shared responsibilities

By Robyn Rosen, May 6, 2010

United Synagogue rabbis have discussed the desirability of ministerial teams to share responsibilities in larger communities.

A workshop during the Rabbinical Council of the US annual conference in Hemel Hempstead considered the team format, popular in America, where ministers take responsibility for different aspects of communal life.


US chief's March of the Living

April 22, 2010

United Synagogue chief executive Jeremy Jacobs says his participation in the March of the Living in Poland has strengthened his commitment to Holocaust education.

Mr Jacobs, who was accompanied by five US youth directors, witnessed the impact the march had on the young. "As the years go by, it becomes ever more urgent for people to hear testimony directly from survivors."

Mr Jacobs has committed £30,000 to Polish trips over the coming year.


Daft ideas from the US

By Simon Rocker, March 18, 2010

The United Synagogue is close to reforming its by-laws, a byword for antiquated bureaucracy. But the revised version of the rules may be no better.

Outling the changes at a meeting this week, US vice-president Peter Zinkin presented on his powerpoint: "Daft 25 key issues."


United Synagogue keen for law change over JFS

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 25, 2010

United Synagogue president Simon Hochhauser this week stressed the need to push for legislative change following the Supreme Court ruling on Jewish school admissions.

During a lively debate with Manchester leaders, educationists and Orthodox and Reform shul members at Whitefield Hebrew Congregation, Mr Hochhauser outlined his concerns over the ruling, which prohibits schools from choosing pupils according to their parents' Jewish status.

He suggested that it could also have implications for synagogues and communal charities.


The United Synagogue is acting like a greedy bully

By Keren David, February 11, 2010

Have you visited the picturesque Jewish quarter of Romford? Bought challot at the thriving kosher bakeries of Ruislip? I thought not. The Jews of Romford and Ruislip are fewer in number than those in Edgware or Golders Green and live further apart. A Romford eruv, I imagine, might take in vast areas of Essex.