On January 25 three distinguished cantors will come together with choirs and instruments in a moving and uplifting concert for Holocaust Memorial Day. Paul Heller, of Belsize Square, will join colleagues Jason Green and Gedalya Alexander in a journey from pre-Nazi Europe, through exclusion after 1933 to the new Jewish culture of the State of Israel.
An exciting evening with the Ralph Freeman Quartet, featuring leading British jazz musicians playing new compositions and original arrangements. Saturday 6 December: full details and booking information.
Plans are under way for the great annual Hanukah Bazaar, after Shabbat on Saturday 6th December and all day Sunday 7th. So members, please come forward to help in the restaurant or on a stall, or bring your second hand books, quality vintage or designer clothing, tombola prizes and other sale items to the Synagogue Office.
As our 75th anniversary year rolls towards its end, we conclude the celebrations with an exciting education programme at Belsize Lehrhaus on 9 November 2014. A day of learning and sharing together, with a rich variety of sessions on Judaism and Jewish history, modern and ancient. £10 in advance, £15 on the day, refreshments included. Children free. More details, and booking information here.
Our new Music at Belsize season opens on 26 October with a film and discussion about the early days of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Other events include a series of concerts culminating with the 4th European Jewish Choral Festival in June 2015. Book now for individual events or the full season.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will soon be upon us and preparations for our awe-inspiring services are well in hand. Find out more here – non-members are welcome but tickets must be booked in advance and are non-transferable.
Belsize Square Synagogue is planning a new social action project in partnership with the Winch, a charity which works with young people locally to support community concerns. This emerged from a presentation by Winch CEO Paul Perkins at our community lunch, when members also learned how BelsizeLIVE benefits those are no longer able to attend synagogue services in person.
Watch this space for more news as the partnership develops.
Congratulations to Angela Harding for her OBE appointment in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, in recognition of her work with deaf children and as co-founder of Christopher Place for pre-school children with speech, language and hearing problems.
Welcome to new board members, appointed at our AGM: Adam Davis, Francis Joseph, Freddy Lehmann, Anthony Stadlen and Ruth Vered.
Sincere thanks to outgoing members for all their hard work.
Our synagogue building features a beautiful new adornment – the new Tree of LIfe sculpture which had its first public airing at our 75th anniversary civic service. Members are invited to dedicate a leaf to commemorate a loved one or mark a special occasion.
Co-chairs John Abramson and Suzanne Goldstein write:
Tree of Life
We are delighted and proud to introduce our brand new Tree of Life which has been installed in the entrance to the Hall.
Several years ago, we introduced the idea of the engraved plaques on the back of the synagogue chairs. Over time, this became a huge success, with plaques being dedicated for a wide variety of reasons. We have a finite number if chairs, and it will come as no surprise that we eventually ran out of chairs on which we can affix a plaque. In the process, we have raised over £50,000 for the Community for which we are so grateful.
We then came up with another idea. With the approval of the Board we have commissioned and purchased a brand new Tree of Life (Etz Chayim). The tree is made from polished wood trunks and brass leaves, and was designed and constructed by US Bronze in New Hyde Park, New York, USA. The logo of our Community is the Etz Chayim, a tree cut down but with a strong healthy branch growing from the stump. Our “real life” Etz Chayim is a fitting tribute to that logo, all the more so this year when we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of our community.
Our tree is now up and active, thanks to the magnificent efforts of Gordon in preparing the wall, and then installing what turned out to be quite a complicated structure. The product of his labours is magnificent.
At Belsize Square Synagogue, we believe in the importance of commemorating a simcha, celebrating a life, honouring those whom we love, and remembering those who are no longer with us. One perfect way to do any of this is to dedicate a leaf on our Tree of Life.
If you would like to take this opportunity to remember a member of your family, a loved one, an occasion you have celebrated, or simply adding your name or that of a family member, a leaf on the Tree will be engraved with words that you choose (max 80 characters including spaces). We will ask for a donation of £200 per leaf, with all funds raised in this way going to the benefit of the Community.
We also have eight rocks around the base of the Tree, which are bigger than the leaves and will accommodate a longer message. The suggested donation for a rock is £2,000. Please note that, for members who are taxpayers, Gift Aid will apply to the donation.
To order your leaf or rock, please contact Lee or Adam in the office with your preferred text. Payment can be made by cheque, over the telephone or via the website.
We hope you will take this opportunity to be a permanent part of our Community in this special year.