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|Service of Thanksgiving|
The celebrating 70th Service of Thanksgiving on 29 March, following the celebration concert on 1 March, was an occasion to remember, writes Ruth Rothenberg. The synagogue was filled with members and guests from local government, from our next-door church, St Peter's, from the Masorti and Liberal Movements and from the Board of Deputies.
The Service, conducted by Rabbi Rodney Mariner and Chazan Norman Cohen-Falah, with full choir under Benjamin Wolf, was punctuated by two speeches that came straight from the heart.
Chairman Tom Nathan spoke first. After welcoming the many guests, he cast our minds back 70 years, when the first members came together in a house in Buckland Crescent, round the corner from the Synagogue.
The second speech, at a later point in the service, was a Thanksgiving Address by Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, grandson of Rabbi Dr Georg Salzberger, the first rabbi of the New Liberal Jewish Congregation, as it was then called. Rabbi Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of the UK Masorti Movement and Rabbi of the New North London Synagogue, gave a personal slant on growing up in the refugee community.
This was a serious yet joyous occasion, purposeful and optimistic. The congregation loved it and the guests went away impressed, as the Deputy Mayor of Camden put it, by the community's continued identity while integrating and contributing to the outside world.
Top: Councillor Chris Knight, Councillor Omar Faruque Ansari and Tom Nathan. Above left: the Service. Above right: Rabbi Rodney Mariner, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Tom Nathan, Norman Cohen-Falah.