Finchley shuts cheder to boost learning

October 29, 2009

In an effort to buck the trend of falling cheder attendance, Finchley Reform Synagogue is replacing its religion school with a new learning programme, Kochavim.

Launched next week, the programme is intended to offer “a cutting edge experiential style of education”. Pupils will choose from a range of modules relating to Jewish life — and once a month will be joined by parents in their activities.


Building starts on Masorti's £4m shul

By Jay Grenby, October 29, 2009

Work began this week on a £4 million building for the New North London Masorti Synagogue — almost a year after the ground-breaking ceremony at the community’s base at the Sternberg Centre site in Finchley.

Congregants will still be able to attend services and other activities in the shul’s existing premises during the works. However, they are being warned to watch out for extra-deep bore holes, drilled to accommodate a ground-source heat pump, which will help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20 per cent.


Sem graduate is first for cantor role at Reform

October 15, 2009

New Finchley Reform appointment Zöe Jacobs is the first graduate of a seminary programme to work as a cantor in a UK Reform congregation.

Cantor Jacobs graduated recently from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, in New York. She led High Holy-Day services at Finchley and will also be co-ordinating Jewish music projects for the Reform movement.


Finchley gains time

September 24, 2009

Finchley Synagogue dropped its usual Rosh Hashanah appeal in favour of a volunteering commitment.

At the urging of Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, congregants were invited to pledge to any one from 10 volunteering options. Rabbi Mirvis said. “There was an incredible sense of the community coming together to find time to help those who need it most.”


Turn on and tune into a Yomtov service

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Reform synagogues have reported an encouraging response to moves to put High Holy-Day services online.

The web initiative was meant to be in preparation for a swine flu epidemic.

However, Finchley Reform Synagogue and Glasgow New Synagogue were among shuls that went ahead and streamed their Rosh Hashanah services over the web, linking to viewers across the world, including patients at the Alyn Hospital in Jerusalem.


Charity shops are feeling the pinch

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

Educational charity Ort has closed its only fundraising store as reduced donations, high rents and cash-strapped customers have taken their toll on Jewish charity shops.

Ort’s Finchley shop was shut down because of rising rent. “It was never really making that much money,” explained British Ort chairman Simon Alberga.

“We had a disagreement with the landlord over what the rent should be and have been planning the closure since then. In the current environment, it’s not the best time to relocate.”


Rubber Bridge

By sasha, August 18, 2009
Monday 24 August


Wingate make their point

By Paul Lerman, August 17, 2009

Wingate & Finchley claimed a point at Redbridge on the opening day of the Ryman League Division One North season.

Two similarly matched teams shared the spoils in a tentative clash where chances were few and far between.

A contest featuring two well-organised defences saw Redbridge’s only attempt of the first half came after a long throw down the line to Carl Bruce. He volleyed on the turn from the angle but Wingate keeper Gavin King was well positioned to parry the ball behind.


Joining Czech mates

August 13, 2009

Members of the Nottingham and Finchley Progressive synagogues travelled to the Czech Republic to visit Slavkov, formerly Austerlitz, from which they each have a Czech memorial Torah scroll.

The trip was organised by the Nottingham Friends of Austerlitz, working to preserve the memory of the town’s Jewish community. Just a handful survived the Holocaust and there is now only one Jewish resident, 78-year-old Ruth Matiovska, who recovered from a broken ankle in time to join a civic ceremony marking the visit.


Bumper crop from Leo Baeck

By Keren David, July 9, 2009

Eight Progressive rabbis were ordained on Sunday at the largest graduation ceremony held by Leo Baeck College.

Seven-hundred people were at West London Synagogue to support the new rabbis, “whose influence will be felt by a generation to come”, said Leo Baeck vice-principal Rabbi Michael Shire. “We are proud of their high academic achievements and skilled pastoral and spiritual abilities.”