A year of anniversaries in South London

South London Liberal Synagogue anniversary service

23 May 2019

By Rabbi Nathan Godleman

On Shabbat, South London Liberal Synagogue (SLLS) celebrated 80 years since its consecration service at Prentis Road.

The sermon was given by Liberal Judaism president, Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, who commented on the special place SLLS occupies in the movement.

With four Liberal Judaism vice presidents in attendance, three of whom are SLLS members, and a sanctuary echoing to the sound of an organ and hymns in English, something of the atmosphere of 1939 was recaptured. This was also due to the period dress worn by many of those in attendance, including Rabbi Goldstein and myself.

Rabbis Nathan Godleman and Andrew Goldstein

Rabbis Nathan Godleman and Andrew Goldstein

It was a very enjoyable day and a powerful one, too, as we recognised our forebears and committed ourselves to the future. It was also a distinctly Liberal service; something to think about as we go forward.

Looking ahead, on 21 September, we will celebrate 90 years since the South London section of the Jewish Religious Union (the original name for Liberal Judaism) developed into the South London Liberal Jewish Synagogue, as it was then known.

A highlight of the service will be the installation of our refurbished silk ark banner. A gift from Lily Montagu and West Central Synagogue, most likely, it once accompanied us around Streatham before we moved into Prentis Road and hasn’t been in situ for over 40 years.


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