A grow­ing mem­ber­ship

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

the syn­a­gogue’s doors and spend count­less hours mak­ing sure they can of­fer sup­port to th­ese peo­ple in need, all out of the kind­ness of their own hearts.”

On Sun­day morn­ings at Meno­rah Syn­a­gogue, mem­bers of­fer tea and bagels in the foy­ers to con­gre­gants — some cheder par­ents, oth­ers com­ing for an adult ed­u­ca­tion course, oth­ers at­tend­ing a so­cial ac­tion meet­ing.

“I came be­cause I’d like to do some­thing prac­ti­cal through the syn­a­gogue,” said one woman. “I’m not a par­tic­u­larly reli­gious per­son, but I’ve got spare time to do some­thing, so the idea of so­cial ac­tion ap­peals to me. This is my only link with other Jewish peo­ple.”

EN­COUR­AG­ING PAR­TIC­I­PA­TION

Not ev­ery­one might come to shul on Shab­bat or Yom­tov morn­ing. One of the pro­grammes at Bron­des­bury Syn­a­gogue is an ice cream party for chil­dren on Shavuot.

“This is a chance for the cheder kids who’ve just come out of their non-Jewish schools to ex­pe­ri­ence Shavuot,” said its rabbi. “Though it’s open to the whole com­mu­nity, that’s our key tar­get group.”

When a young sin­gle man in Leeds felt there was lit­tle for his peers to do, he was able to start a new so­cial group, Jewish Mean Time (JMT) at Beth Hamidrash Ha­gadol with the back­ing of its rab­bis.

“The launch brought in about 150 par­tic­i­pants,” he said.

“To main­tain a level of 60 peo­ple on Fri­day night or Purim events for Leeds is mas­sive and has su­per­seded any­thing that’s gone be­fore it… One of the rea­sons why JMT has suc­ceeded is be­cause of rab­bini­cal in­volve­ment.”

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