A quadruple of simchas at Bedfordshire Progressive

13 May 2024 – 5 Iyyar 5784

BPS baby blessings

Bedford Progressive Synagogue is one of the smaller Progressive congregations, so it was quite an occasion when no fewer than four simchas took place on the same Shabbat morning.

Geoffrey Ben-Nathan celebrating his 80th birthday

Geoffrey Ben-Nathan celebrating his birthday

The community, also known as Rodef Shalom, celebrated two baby blessings (pictured above), the 80th birthday of synagogue President Geoffrey Ben-Nathan and the golden wedding of shul Secretary Hilary Fox and her husband Gerald.

Synagogue Chair David Young led the service, just as he has done, remarkably, for the last 36 years.

“This is a big event for our members,” explained Geoffrey. “It’s one of those memorable occasions that will stay with us for a long time.

“I’ve been connected here for more than 50 years and it’s so important we make a contribution to Judaism. We have a huge challenge to attract younger people which is why the baby blessings are wonderful.”

Hilary Fox with flower for her anniversary

Hilary Fox with flowers for her anniversary

Lyndsey and Jonathan Silver with their three-week-old Freya were the first to receive the blessing.

Jonathan said: “Although I now live in South London, I was Bar Mitzvah in Bedford and I wanted to maintain the link with the community.”

Baby Esther was also impeccably behaved as she took her turn next, with proud mum and dad, Rosie and Paul Comb-Clark, in front of the Bimah.

Rosie said: “It’s important for our heritage to continue these traditions – and any opportunity to celebrate right now is important for everyone.”

Bedford Progressive Synagogue meet on Zoom every Friday night, and hold a Shabbat morning service around twice a month. To find out more, please visit www.bedfordshire-ps.org.uk.

Share this Post