March is here and with it the 75th anniversary of the very first service of what was to become Belsize Square Synagogue. We will be celebrating over the weekend of March 21-22 with special guest Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, who will speak at a communal Friday night dinner and during Shabbat morning service, to be followed by a communal kiddush and talmud shiur.
Rabbi Schorsch is a most distinguished scholar and compelling speaker, and was formerly chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. But more than that, his personal history mirrors our community’s. He was born in Hanover where his father was a respected rabbi, and left following Kristallnacht to seek refuge from the grip of Nazi terror, in parallel with so many of our founder members. Fittingly, Rabbi Schorsch has become a leading authority on German Jewish history.
Update: Ritual is the DNA that defines who we are – get a flavour of Rabbi Schorsch’s thinking from his article in the Jewish Chronicle.