Chigwell United Synagogue is continuing to enjoy rising membership with more than 700 families now on its books.
When Rabbi Baruch Davis arrived to lead the Essex community in 1997, it numbered around 510 families.
In particular, there had been a “flurry of applications” in recent months. “Regulars have internalised the message that it’s a big mitzvah to reach out and be welcoming to everyone who walks through the door,” the rabbi said.
“It is not a terribly formal place. We don’t have fixed seating, so no one can say ‘you can’t sit here’ — which is one of the most off-putting things when someone is new.”
Chigwell now offers three children’s services on Shabbat, from toddlers to youth.