Nursery is blossoming

April 2, 2009

A new Borehamwood Jewish nursery is proving so popular that it is already over-subscribed for the September term.

Run by mother-of-two Rivka Bicks and her sister-in-law Louise Bicks, Little Bicks is based at Federation synagogue Ohr Yisrael. It is about to offer full day care during term time and the Bicks are looking to run a summer scheme, in response to parental demand.

“We have only been open for two months, but the response has been phenomenal,” Rivka Bicks said. “We are just delighted to be able to help ease parents’ worries about their childcare.”


Elstree shul denies claim of rabbis’ rift

By Marcus Dysch, April 2, 2009

An alleged rift between the current and former Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue rabbis is the talk of the community.

Writing in the shul magazine, author and JC columnist Michael Freedland referred to a “certain disquiet” between Rabbi Naftali Brawer and his predecessor Rabbi Alan Plancey. “Something must be done to get these two gentlemen together — for their own good and for ours.”


Elstree looking south to boost membership

By Jay Grenby, February 26, 2009

Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue is endeavouring to increase its 1,270-family membership through a recruitment drive.

Outlining the strategy in his Shabbat sermon, Rabbi Naftali Brawer said the focus would be on the south side of its catchment area, a favoured spot for young families.

A major selling point of the south-side efforts is Yavneh College, where Borehamwood has agreed use of the school’s synagogue for additional Shabbat and festival services.

“It’s the most beautiful little shul,” Rabbi Brawer said. “I regularly take services myself there.”


Recession brings rise in calls to shul helpline

By Jay Grenby, February 12, 2009

When Rebecca Brummer took on the role of Borehamwood Synagogue’s community care co-ordinator eight months ago, her workload mostly concerned the welfare of sick or elderly members of the community. Now the majority of callers to the congregation’s Careline are seeking advice on coping with redundancy and unemployment and debt and home repossession.


Elstree Liberal shul goes back in time

February 12, 2009

An evening of reminiscence launched the 40th anniversary celebrations of The Liberal Synagogue Elstree.

More than 100 members and friends, including Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich, packed the Hertfordshire shul to hear past and present leaders recall its history.

TLSE started life as the “wandering community” of Stanmore Liberal Jewish Congregation, with services held in a variety of private homes and halls. It moved to permanent premises in a former Elstree school in 1977 and changed its name to Hertsmere Progressive Synagogue.


230 hear Jewish Learning Exchange's Rabbi Akiva Tatz remember Shenley minister Rabbi Shmuli Katz

November 6, 2008

More than 230 people heard the Jewish Learning Exchange's Rabbi Akiva Tatz deliver the inaugural lecture in memory of Shenley community minister Rabbi Shmuli Katz, who died last year at the age of 30. Rabbi Tatz's talk, "Follow your leaders and find inspiration", launched the Herts Learning Exchange winter programme. Topics covered will include business ethics, "Torah taboos" and achieving the right balance in parenting. The programme culminates next month with a first UK talk by celebrated French interfaith activist Father Patrick Desbois.


New Elstree nursery plans

By Jay Grenby, November 6, 2008

A private Jewish nursery is planned to cater for the growing number of observant Jewish families moving into the Elstree area.

Set to open in January, Little Bicks is the creation of 28-year-old mother-of-two Rivka Bicks, who moved to Borehamwood with her husband Matthew just before the birth of their two-year-old daughter Shoshanna.


Fifteen Borehamwood United Synagogue teenagers visited homes for shul's Project Lulav

October 23, 2008

Fifteen teenagers who regularly attend Borehamwood United Synagogue's youth service visited 150 homes in the area during Succot in pursuit of the shul's Project Lulav. Along with festive greetings and goodies, they took a lulav and etrog to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to perform the Succot mitzvah - elderly members of the congregation and families unable to attend festival services. The volunteers were led by Doron Luder, the community's recently-appointed youth director.


Magician Mandy Davis promoted to highest level of the Magic Circle

October 23, 2008

Magician Mandy Davis has been promoted to the highest level of the Magic Circle, the Inner Magic Circle (with gold star for performance). Ms Davis is one of only 10 women among the Inner Magic Circle's 300 members worldwide and her speciality is close-up magic. She also chairs the Young Magicians' Club, part of the organisation's Youth Initiative, and was married at the Magic Circle's headquarters earlier this year.


100 members of Elstree US visit rabbi's home for Yom Kippur

October 17, 2008

For the second year running, around 100 members of the local United Synagogue visited the home of minister Rabbi Naftali Brawer and his wife Dina on the morning before Yom Kippur. They were there not just to sample the rebbetzen's renowned honey cake but also to receive the traditional rabbinical blessing. "We love to do this," said Rabbi Brawer, "because it gives us a chance to meet so many of our congregants and wish them a sweet new year."