United Synagogue

Belated batmitzvah celebrations in Stanmore

June 17, 2013

Thirty-two women aged from late-30s to 70-plus have completed Stanmore Synagogue’s first “Batmitzvah Two” programme, spearheaded by rebbetzen Aviva Landau.

Most of the participants in the comprehensive six-week course had felt a sense of loss at not having had a batmitzvah in their youth.


Mirvis consults widely before taking office

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2013

Chief Rabbi-elect Ephraim Mirvis has embarked on extensive consultations with rabbis and lay leaders as he draws up plans of action.

United Synagogue president Stephen Pack said, “the idea is that when he takes office, he will be able to hit the ground running”.


Wanted - an £8m fundraiser for US projects

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2013

The United Synagogue is looking to appoint a fundraiser to help generate £8 million for capital projects — including the extension of Bushey Cemetery.


It’s not over until the last chazan sings

By Simon Rocker, June 9, 2013

It’s a summer evening and the congregation is getting ready for the Kabbalat Shabbat service, the welcoming of the Sabbath, on Friday. Someone taps out a beat on a tabla drum, a guitarist tunes his strings, another person takes a flute from a case.


Mother-of-one elected as youngest synagogue chair

By Sandy Rashty, May 30, 2013

A 27-year-old mother and part-time charity worker has been elected as the youngest chair of a United Synagogue shul.

Michelle Bauernfreund was voted in unopposed at the 220-member Alei Tzion synagogue in Hendon, north-west London.


Tribe dinners bring curtain down on academic year

By Marcus Dysch, May 30, 2013

Tribe, the United Synagogue’s youth section, has held graduation dinners for students in Manchester and Cambridge.

The dinner for 35 Cambridge students featured speakers including Tribe consultant Yossi Fachler and Tribe campus ambassador Yehudit Harris.

She said: “It was a really lovely evening and I’m looking forward to attending Young United Synagogue events when I graduate.”


Sacks leaves Rome with a Beatles song memory

May 27, 2013

Lord Sacks performed one of his last inductions as Chief Rabbi for the Rev David Rome at Catford and Bromley Synagogue.

He told the congregation of 400, including four south London mayors and senior clergy, that, for him, the occasion was summarised by the Beatles song Hello, Goodbye. “As one door closes another opens, Reverend Rome says hello and I say goodbye.”


Rabbi Chaim Halpern conducting a wedding a ‘serious error’, says United Synagogue

By Simon Rocker, May 24, 2013

The United Synagogue has strongly criticised the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations for allowing Rabbi Chaim Halpern, who is under police investigation over alleged sexual abuse of women, to officiate at a wedding.


Shenley's wizard from Oz

May 20, 2013

Rabbi Alan Garber will be returning to the UK from Australia to take up the Shenley Synagogue pulpit.

Shenley members unanimously supported the appointment of the minister and his wife Tanya on Sunday, and the Garbers are expected to start work before the High Holy-Days.


Kingston congregants back rabbi's appointment

By Jay Grenby, May 20, 2013

Kingston Synagogue members have overwhelmingly supported the board of management’s choice of Rabbi Samuel Landau and his wife Shana as the congregation’s new rabbinic couple.