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Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue held the dedication of the new Senitt Sensory Room in early February. As the first synagogue in the UK to have a purpose-built sensory room this evening marked a culmination of much hard work by the Youth and Education team. The reception was attended by current and former Rabbis and staff, council members as well as friends and family of the Senitts.  

The room is dedicated in loving memory of Jack Senitt who was both a member and active volunteer at EHRS as well as at Middlesex New Synagogue. Ben Konyn, EHRS Council representative for Youth & Education, gave a short presentation about Jack and what an impact he had made on generations of youth. It was an honour to have Jack’s wife Karen and his daughter Emma present to cut the ribbon and officially launch the room. Emma and Karen both worked at EHRS for many years and continue to be involved in the wider Jewish community as well as running a charity The Alan Senitt Memorial trust which does work supporting students and teaching personal safety to young people.

Sarah Koster, the EHRS Young Families Lead, explained how important this facility is going to be for the community. It is already being used by young families, Orot – the cheder, Nagila – the on-site nursery and by the youth clubs and uniformed groups. Sarah also plans to launch a support group for parents of children with special education needs. This will be a safe place where parents can share experiences and support each other whilst their children play safely with all the elements of the room. There are also plans to make the sensory room available to external users such as other synagogues, charities and local groups.

To close the event Rabbi Debbi Young-Somers led the room in a hearty shechiaynou. Guests were then able to explore the wonderful bright room and have a play with some of the gadgets in there, guided by staff from Opti-music who are the company that designed and fitted the space. Everything in this room has been carefully chosen to enable a safe space for calm, reflection and to support mental health and wellbeing. EHRS is proud to be a pioneer in inclusivity with this sensory room and in all the activities on offer. 

Photos of the event were taken by Jonathan Abrahams

If you would like to find out more about the Senitt Sensory Room or activities for youth and young families at EHRS please email or search EHRS Young Families on Facebook.

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