Yearly Archives: 2013

Mitzvah Day at Belsize

This year’s Mitzvah Day, on 17 November, featured a range of activities working with the wider community:

  • A six-strong Belsize Square team joined volunteers from Alyth Gardens and other people in the community in taking on practical tasks at the Marie Curie hospice in Hampstead, clearing leaves from the garden, cutting out stars for the December Lights to Remember service, and cleaning collection buckets and tins. Our volunteers had fun and felt glad to be of practical use. Planning for next year’s event is already under way, so please join our volunteers then.

Mitzvah Day at Cheder

Cheder began with a video about what a mitzvah is and the different year groups participated in different projects throughout the morning:

  • The children in year 7 joined the Ethiopian Church next door to see the end of their service before members of the church came with their minister, Father Georgius, to take part in our Mitzvah Day activities. It was a true interfaith morning, with the children from both communities working together to make Hanukah presents and cards for members of the Association of Jewish Refugees. The younger years learned about the mitzvah of welcoming guests in to your home and community. They baked scones and biscuits for our guests from the Ethiopian Church, while the teenage assistants made lemonade.
  • Mitzvah Day at ChederMeanwhile year 2 and their parents learned about the mitzvah of tzedakah and made tzedakah boxes together. Cheder families contributed a car-load of clothing for World Jewish Relief, £132.43 for the World Jewish Relief appeal for the Philippines, three cartons of tinned food and pasta for Homeless Action in Barnet and 15 pairs of glasses for Vision Aid. Many parents came to help out which was much appreciated.
  • And finally, our fantastic children’s choir went to Selig Court together with Cantor Heller, to sing for members of our community and other elderly people who live there. When they returned they sang for our Ethiopian guests and in turn the Ethiopian Church’s choir sang for us. It was a morning to remember!

Mitzvah Day


Kristallnacht 75th anniversary

Over the weekend of 8-10 November, two special events will mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.  We will hold our own annual memorial service in the synagogue on Friday 8 November at 6:45 pm, and then on Sunday 10 November the Belsize Synagogue Choir will take part in a special service of Solemn Remembrance and Hope at Westminster Abbey.

These services commemorate the Kristallnacht (“night of broken glass”) orchestrated Nazi attacks against Jews, synagogues and Jewish businesses that took place across Germany and in Austria on 9-10 November 1938, a foretaste of the more terrible horrors yet to come.

Note: All tickets for the Westminster Abbey service have already been booked.

Belsize Square teams up with Jewish Film Festival

The reborn Belsize Square Synagogue Film Club is pleased to announce its partnership with the UK Jewish Film Festival, which launches in October with over 80 films from around the world. Over half are UK premieres.

The partnership offers us three films over the next 12 months. The first, to be screened on Sunday 13 October at 7 pm at the synagogue, is the acclaimed 2005 film Live and Become. Directed by Radu Mihăileanu, who escaped from Communist Romania to France at the age of 22, it stars Israeli actress Yael Abecassis.

The film is the moving story of an Ethiopian Christian child placed by his desperate mother into the hands of a Jewish woman who has lost her own child and is about to be taken to Israel from a Sudanese refugee camp during Operation Moses. It explores the displacement and integration of Ethiopian Jews in Israel in the 1980s and has been widely successful.

Tickets cost £10 and are obtainable through the synagogue office.

Belsize Square Choir to sing at Abbey Kristallnacht service

The Belsize Square Synagogue choir will perform at Westminster Abbey in a service of solemn remembrance and hope on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Kristallnacht (in English, “night of glass”) was a series of coordinated attacks carried out by paramilitaries and civilians against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9th and 10th November 1938. The attacks left the streets covered with broken glass from the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues.

The service will feature personal testimonies and readings and music from the choirs of London synagogues, including our own Belsize Square.

Free tickets for the service, on Sunday 10th November 2013 at 6.30pm, are available online at

High Holy Day Services

Belsize SquareThe High Holy Day Services are held at Belsize Square and admission to the services is by ticket only.

Members, your tickets should arrive by post and each is numbered and has the name of the person to whom it has been issued to. It should be noted that tickets are not transferable and can only be used by the named person.

Non members, if you wish to apply for tickets please contact the Synagogue office.

Family and friends who wish to attend the second day or Rosh Hashanah are welcome without a ticket, as long as they are accompanied by a ticketholder.

Children’s Services

These are held during the morning services in the hall. As seating is limited, adults will only be admitted if space is available and they have their own ticket for the Main Service


Services for under 6s will be held in the Creche Room. To reserve a place in the Creche, please contact the Synagogue office

Tel – 020 7794 3949
Email –

Watch Services Live Online

livelargeBelsize Square is pleased to announce that our services are now available to watch online thanks to the generous support of the Six Point Foundation.These are best viewed from a laptop or desktop but can also be watched on mobile devices.

To watch a service please click on the Livestream link at the top or by clicking here.

If you are having any problems watching online please contact Lee Taylor in the Synagogue office


Cup Final Winners

cupwinnersMatch report by Simon Cutner

The sun was out and for the first time in what seems like forever the temperature was a balmy 20 degrees . All was set for the cup final.

With a large crowd of support cheering our boys on, we kicked off into a strong headwind as defending champions. We started a little nervously I felt, but soon got into a rhythm, closing down the opposition and breaking at speed from defence to attack.

The opening goal was a lovely move from back to front. The ball was played down the left and picked up just over the halfway line by Max Cutner, who dropped his shoulder, left a couple of defenders standing and put the ball right into the path of Rudy Berman, who with one touch took it out of his feet and then placed a lovely low drive into the Hendon net. 1-0 to the Reds of Alyth Belsize!

We held on to the lead for a good 10 minutes but gradually Hendon started to get back into the game, and sure enough a neatly taken shot looped in and just under the crossbar to equalise. The momentum had changed and, with the wind in their favour from their goal kicks, Hendon started to play ‘route one’ football – basically giving the ball a good hoof and letting the wind do the rest!

We had a couple of scares until finally, goal kick, hoof, massive bounce, confusion in defence and as a result a clear chance taken. From 1-0 up to 2-1 down!

Half-time, and for what must be one of the first times this season we found ourselves the losing side.

With the second half a mere 5 minutes old, the ball again broke to the left side where Eli Jay was on hand to chip in a delightful shot to make it 2-2. The rest of the half was a real end-to-end affair.

With the momentum now swinging back towards Alyth Belsize we were unlucky on two counts. Firstly, we won a corner and Max floated the ball into the danger area. With the assistance of the wind and the natural curl it went directly into the goal … but was disallowed as it seems the ball was not placed exactly on the correct spot. Then, we should have snatched the victory with almost the last attack of the second half. A slide-rule pass found Max free with only the goalie to beat. As Max went to shoot, the world seemed to stand still … but a magnificent save by the Hendon goalie meant this game was heading for extra time!

On the subject of magnificent saves, he may have forgotten that as a goalie he is allowed to use his hands, but I recall one moment when we were left flat-footed at the back and Jake Brass was out of the Alyth Belsize goal in a flash to make an essential clearance.

So, into the first half of extra time. With only 5 minutes per half, they seemed to fly past. Again with the wind in Hendon’s favour they pushed us a little too deep and started to gain the initiative. A corner was swung in and magnificently met on the head by a Hendon United player to leave us trailing by a goal again.

With the second half of extra time left to play we needed to score, and score we did! Again the pressure was piled on but by us this time, searching for that glimmer of a chance. A goal scramble ensued and able to poke home our equaliser with only a couple of minutes to spare was Ben Hurst!

But was there was still time for a winner, and to which side?

Hendon pushed forward and a hopeful shot was flung towards our goal. It was high, it was over Jake’s head, but was it over the bar, or not? This is where time stood still (again)… our experienced Club Coach Ivan Colomer-Martinez standing beside me on the sideline said it was dropping in, and he knows about these things! Then – literally out of nowhere – the ball was headed magnificently off the line by Rudy to keep us in the match. Fantastic positioning and commitment!

The whistle was blown and that meant only one thing … penalties!

Five of the players who were on the pitch when the final whistle blew volunteered to take a spot kick. They were Rufus Colman-Deveney, Eden Cohen, Max, Alex Godfrey and Rudy. I went with goalie Jake to have the rules explained to us by the referee and a coin toss to select who shot first. We won the toss (a good omen?) and Jake decided he wanted to go second. In the meantime, the order of the penalties had been decided by our captain Max!

Up stepped Rufus, and BANG 1-0. They score too 1-1. Up steps Eden, SMACK 2-1; Hendon don’t miss 2 -2. Then Max, BOOM 3-2; Jake gets his fingers to Hendon’s third but it’s 3-3. Up steps Alex, WALLOP 4-3; Jake nearly saves their fourth but 4-4. So no pressure when finally it’s Rudy turn, and SLAM 5-4. A miss by Hendon and we have won… but, no, it’s 5-5!

So, we entered ‘sudden death’ (which many parents on the sidelines were watching through their fingers!). Back to Rufus again: a beautiful side-footed shot to the keeper’s right KAPOW 6-5!

Again, if they miss we win … the ball is struck well high to Jake’s outstretched right hand, but it’s too high, it hits the crossbar and bounces away!!! ALYTH BELSIZE WIN 6-5 on penalties!

What a game, and a real shame that two of our players were not able to attend, Gabriel de Leuw and Lior Solomons-Wise, but we won it for the team, the club and for the mums, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents all too nervous to watch the dreaded shootout!

I have to say that each penalty was take superbly – such composed heads on young shoulders!

From the bottom of my heart I was so proud of each and every boy today; they all played their part, be it from the sidelines or on the pitch, whether they played the whole match or some of it. Football is a team sport, you win as a team and lose as a team, but ultimately you ARE A TEAM! And a winning team!!

There were some battling performances today. I think at long last we found Rufus’ best position, defence. Asher Hayes worked hard on the left, Ben grabbed that all-important third goal. Eden as always was a force in defence (when he’s not upfield!). Max as ever ran and ran – a true playmaker, when not shooting from the halfway line! Jake was The Man in goal – excellent as ever, but if only he would use his hands more! Eli played mid-defence and then left wingback and never gave up. Alex also battled hard in whichever position I played him, and a special mention to Oliver Abrahams – a true team player. However, I think for our opening goal and that spectacular header off the line, my Man of the Match goes to Rudy.

Now let’s win the league!