The breakaway group from Bournemouth Reform Synagogue has changed its name.
Originally known as the Southern Reform Community, it is now called the Southern Jewish Community.
“Our name has had to be changed to comply with a request from the Movement for Reform Judaism,” explained group member David Sheaf. “They felt that having ‘Reform’ in our name might lead people to think we are already affiliated. This we considered a reasonable request.” However, the group still hoped to affiliate to Reform.
Having been meeting in members’ homes, the SJC has secured a more permanent base — the community room at Dorset Fire Service’s Christchurch station — for its alternate weekly Friday evening and Shabbat morning services.
The fire station premises are rent-free, allowing the SJC to focus on raising funds for a Sefer Torah, which it hopes to purchase by Rosh Hashanah. It also has a communications team and a website and attracts 40 people to services.