Join­ing the Be­larus party

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JAY GRENBY

A NINE-STRONG Radlett and Bushey Re­form Syn­a­gogue group vis­ited Be­larus to at­tend the bar-and bat­mitz­vahs of youngsters from the shul’s twin com­mu­nity of Grodno and the neigh­bour­ing town of Lida. The cel­e­brants had been hosted in Radlett in the sum­mer for ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing a re­li­gious stud­ies pro­gramme.

Headed by Rabbi David Mitchell and Be­larus com­mit­tee chair Paul Janes, the Radlett group started in Grodno, where bowler-hat­ted pro­gres­sive rabbi Gr­isha Abramovich presided over Fri­day night and Shab­bat morn­ing ser­vices in which the teenagers had lead­ing roles.

In Lida, the vis­i­tors wit­nessed the com­mu­nity’s first bar/bat­mitz­vah ser­vices since 1941.

Rabbi Mitchell pre­sented the cel­e­brants with a bar/bat­mitz­vah cer­tifi- cate and a gift from the Radlett cheder. An ar­ray of Ju­daica was also handed over to the two com­mu­ni­ties.

“It was a pro­foundly spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ence to of­fi­ci­ate at the cer­e­monies,” Rabbi Mitchell said. “It also made me very proud to be a rabbi at a syn­a­gogue like RBRS where many of our mem­bers worked so hard to of­fer the young peo­ple from Be­larus a mem­o­rable visit dur­ing which they pre­pared for their big day”.

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