Every youngster in the Brondesbury Park Synagogue community will receive a Jewish or Israel themed book each year as part of an initiative celebrating the 10th anniversary of Rabbi Baruch Levin’s leadership.
Ingrid Sellman— whose late husband David was a Brondesbury chairman — explained that children aged between six and 18 were eligible. On a recent Shabbat, Rabbi Levin presented children turning 10 this year with a copy of Once, Morris Gleitzman’s story about a boy determined to escape from an orphanage.
Brondesbury Park has enjoyed a period of substantial growth under the stewardship of Rabbi Levin and his wife Kezi. It now has 350 families among its membership, accounting for 300 under-18s.
“A community with children is a community with a future,” Rabbi Levin said. “What more fitting an initiative to mark our 10th anniversary than one that celebrates the regeneration of our youth as we look towards the next decade and beyond, including the imminent redevelopment of our premises and construction of an eruv.”
It is hoped youngsters will develop their own libraries of classic Jewish books. A booklist has been created with the help of Joseph’s bookstore in Temple Fortune.
Shul chair Daniel Turner said: “Brondesbury Park and the Levins explode the myth that modern Orthodox Judaism isn’t relevant to young Jews. We offer an approach that young families and others are attracted to. We could have only created this by putting children at the heart of the community.
“The rationale of the book project is to help strengthen the lifetime bond the children have to Brondes-bury Park, while enhancing their broader sense of Yiddishkeit.”
The scheme has been sponsored by members.