Mill Hill shows Eastern prom­ise

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY ELLIE JA­COBS

MILL HILL East Jewish Com­mu­nity will be hold­ing its first Rosh Hashanah ser­vices as part of the United Sy­n­a­gogue.

The young com­mu­nity, founded by thir­tysome­things Josh Kleiman and Avi Gillis, has been hold­ing ser­vices in a lo­cal youth cen­tre and in mem­bers’ homes. Since af­fil­i­at­ing to the US in March, mem­ber­ship has grown to 85.

Mr Gillis an­tic­i­pated a con­gre­ga­tion of up to 70 on Rosh Hashanah and around 100 for Kol Nidre. Mr Kleiman said “a big sig­nal of in­tent” had been the re­cruit­ment of a rab­binic cou­ple, Bentzi and Michal Mann. “It’s an amaz­ing mile­stone for the com­mu­nity.”

Mill Hill East has been iden­ti­fied as an area of Jewish growth. Mr Kleiman at­tributed its at­trac­tion partly to cheaper prop­erty prices than in Hen­don and Finch­ley. “It’s also easy to get into town. The new hous­ing de­vel­op­ment, Mill­brook Park, has brought many younger Jews to the area.”

Mr Gillis ex­plained that he and Mr Kleiman had ini­tially gauged in­ter­est “by fly­er­ing ev­ery house is in the area with a mezuzah. We gained lots of sup­port from peo­ple who were un­af­fil­i­ated but wanted to be a part of some­thing. Be­cause we are a small ini­tia­tive, ev­ery­one feels that they have a role.

“We place a big em­pha­sis on so­cial ac­tion. We work closely with the lo­cal Jewish Blind & Dis­abled home. We of­ten push ten­ants in wheel­chairs to shul and even host ser­vices in their build­ing. It’s very mean­ing­ful to both them and us.”

The com­mu­nity also hosts a fort­nightly mother and baby group, ed­u­ca­tional events and a whisky club.

Mem­bers of the young con­gre­ga­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.