The increasing number of young Jewish families who have settled in Shenley, Hertfordshire, over the past decade have proved an inviting target for the Masorti movement, looking to offer an alternative to the United Synagogue congregation founded in the area just over 10 years ago.
In a bid to establish a more significant presence in the county and “supplement the excellent work already being done” by its two existing Herts communities in St Albans and Elstree and Borehamwood, Masorti arranged an inaugural “Friday Night Live” kabbalat Shabbat service.
The informal service and dinner, held in the home of a current Masorti member, was attended by 20 guests, and is intended to be the first of a regular series of monthly Friday night services in the Hertfordshire village, which is also home to Clore Shalom, the Jewish pluralist primary school.
“We aim to give people an additional option of a local Masorti experience on a Friday night in Shenley,” explained Masorti Judaism’s small communities fieldworker, Dr Laurence Jacobs. “We hope that this taste of Masorti will encourage potential members to go along to both our St Albans and Elstree and Borehamwood communities where they will be welcomed with a full range of synagogue services.”
Added Masorti chief executive Matt Plen: “We believe our vision of traditional Judaism for modern Jews has a lot to offer the Hertfordshire community. This is an opportunity to experience the welcoming atmosphere of Masorti Judaism, and we look forward to seeing real growth as people seek us out over the coming months.”