First services held by new East London community

East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue first services

11 January 2017

East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue (EL&ELS) enjoyed a “wonderful” turnout for its inaugural Shabbat services this weekend.

The new community formed on January 1, after members of Bet Tikvah and Woodford Liberal Synagogues voted to unite. It will operate over the two sites, while a search for a new building based on demographic surveys takes place.

A Friday night service was held at the former Bet Tikvah Synagogue, followed by a Saturday morning service in Woodford. Both were marked with a special prayer and blowing of the shofar, and led jointly by Rabbis David Hulbert and Richard Jacobi.

The theme of the services was making a journey, reflecting both the Biblical journey taken by Abraham and that of the new community over the last couple years – a journey that still continues as they search for a new joint home.

EL&ELS co-chair Shirley Forbes – pictured with Rabbi David Hulbert, Rabbi Richard Jacobi, Liberal Judaism chair Simon Benscher and EL&ELS co-chair Bob Kamall – said: “It was wonderful to see so many members of the legacy synagogues sharing in the celebrations over the weekend and working together to form our new single community.”

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