21 May 2019
Eleven young people celebrated the conclusion of their formal cheder learning by leading a special Kabbalat Torah Shabbat at Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS).
Kabbalat Torah is a lifecycle event unique to Liberal Judaism, taking place in a young person’s fifteenth or sixteenth year when it is felt they are able to have a more mature and personal understanding of Jewish values and able to confirm their commitment to Judaism as a consequence of a personal decision.
The programme at Northwood included a trip to the Czech Republic, as well as active participation in the religious and cultural life of the NPLS community.
Many of the class have been friends since a very young age, attending cheder together every Saturday morning.
Upon marking the completion of their studies by leading the Kabbalat Torah and morning Shabbat services, participant Asher Rose said: “We are a small group of people who are different and have our own special gifts, but we are united by community.”
Izzi Larkin added: “We have all gone on individual journeys by ourselves to become who we are now. But our trip to the Czech Republic helped us to figure out who we were as a group.”
Many Kabbalat Torah graduates go on to become cheder teachers and leaders in the LJY-Netzer youth movement, as well as future rabbis, lay leaders and officers of Liberal Judaism.
Northwood participant Abbie Maltz said: “I see us as the next generation of Liberal Jewish leaders that will inevitably guide the future classes at NPLS towards a better future.”
The class were supported in their studies and the service by Northwood’s clergy team of Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Rabbi Lea Mühlstein and Cantor Tamara Wolfson, as well as Kabbalat Torah teacher Anna Masters.
* Picture by Victor Shack
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