It’s coming home: Radlett cheder is back on shul site

Synagogue head says the move makes commercial sense at a time of falling attendances


Rayder, the Radlett United Synagogue cheder, which once boasted 250 pupils and claimed to be the largest within the US, is to close in its current format at the end of term.

It has been based at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, just south of the village. When the cheder reopens in September, it will be on the shul’s premises.

RUS acting chair Stephen Grossman said the change made commercial sense.

“We have spent so much money creating our own facilities in our newly-extended shul that there was no longer any benefit in renting. The financial burden on our shul was compounded by the drop in attendance.”

Up to 80 children covering school years one to six are expected to attend classes from September. The figure for the current year has been around 100.

“Priority will be given to children of RUS members, then to members of other US synagogues,” Mr Grossman said. “Remaining places will be available to non-members. We have already seen lots of interest from parents who are keen for their children to attend and we are very excited about this stepping stone in the use of our building.”

Rayder was established in 1999 in the shul’s then more limited building, moving within a few years to HJPS, with its greater capacity and ready-made educational facilities.

Over the next decade, it absorbed the Borehamwood and Elstree cheder and subsequently entered into an informal arrangement to take pupils from the Bushey community.

However, the decision three years ago to make Bushey United Synagogue the home of Tribe’s Aleph Learning Centre NW — also taking children from Stanmore and Pinner — had a significant impact on attendances at Rayder.

It ultimately led to the revised plans, which Mr Grossman said have the full support of the US.

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