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“Beit Yorkshire” weekend celebrates Huddersfield’s first Shabbat service in 60 years

The Progressive Jewish Communities of Sinai Synagogue in Leeds, Bradford Reform, York Liberal and the Holocaust Centre North joined together at the weekend to recognise and celebrate Yorkshire’s vibrant Jewish communities. 

The recent census identified that around 12,000 people identify as Jewish in the county. Most live in the major towns and cities but it also revealed that areas such as Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield where no synagogues currently exist also have proud Jewish populations. 

The weekend programme resulted in the first Shabbat service in Huddersfield in 60 years. More than 80 people were in the congregation for prayers led by Progressive Judaism’s joint CEO Rabbi Charley Baginsky.  

“It was a unique opportunity for many of the communities of the region to come together,” said organiser Laurence Saffer. “And it helped reconnect likeminded people for prayer, music, education and socialising.” 

Friday night included an emotional service at Sinai Synagogue, led by Cantor Rachel Weston, who led Kaddish for congregants who lost relatives in Auschwitz as well as for the latest attacks in Israel. 

The area is rightly proud of the collaboration between the region’s Jewish Communities and Holocaust Centre North which underlines the shared commitment to Yorkshire’s Jewish heritage. 

Pictures credit @mwilliamsphotoimages

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