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Gallery: Progressive Jewish communities on Chanukah 2024

This Chanukah saw Progressive Jewish communities light up the UK, hosting festive parties and celebrations to bring brightness and warmth in what have been difficult times.

To reach as many members as possible, as well as friends and neighbours, celebrations were held in a variety of venues – from construction sites to cricket grounds and shul halls to saloons.

A joint Progressive celebration at Finchley Reform Synagogue (pictured above) featured musicians and members from FRS, East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue, The Liberal Synagogue Elstree, Alyth Synagogue, The Ark Synagogue, Finchley Progressive Synagogue and RSY-Netzer.

Cantor Zoe Jacobs of FRS said: “We created a programme of music that took us from celebrating Shabbat, into Havdalah, and then focussed on finding light in the darkness, lighting our Chanukiot and singing Chanukah songs. We started with some time for people just to be together – enjoying doughnuts, mulled wine and other snacks – and then really just sang for 90 minutes! Each musician taught or led different songs, with everyone else adding harmony throughout.”

We have featured a selection of the best Chanukah photos we have been sent below. If you wish to feature your congregation, or add to the information we have on your event(s), please email simonr@progressivejudaism.org.uk

Bradford Synagogue:

Bradford Synagogue celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding by Rabbi Joseph Strauss with a very special Chanukah interfaith and civic service. Adding in a further celebration, member Marjorie Black was presented with her BEM following the service. Full story to follow.

 

Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue: 

Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue held a family Chanukah party, bringing together more than 150 children and their parents for a giant day of fun with dreidel game stalls and a doughnut wall. The following day they put on an EcoHavdallah Chanukah tea, run by the EHRS EcoTeam and with candles made out of beeswax. 

 

York Liberal Jewish Community: 

York Liberal Jewish Community held a moving and emotional event inside Clifford’s Tower, the site of an infamous pogrom in 1190 – showing how Jewish life has fully returned to the city. Full story to follow.  

 

North West Surrey Synagogue: 

North West Surrey Synagogue united for a candle lighting on the weekend of their 55th anniversary. The annual Chanukah event is a much-loved part of the NWSS calendar, with a number of three and four generation families taking part. Music was provided by the community’s Jammin Jews. 

 

The Liberal Jewish Synagogue: 

The Liberal Jewish Synagogue held a Multi-Faith Chanukkah Celebration with guest speakers Julie Siddiqi MBE and Laura Marks CBE, the Co-Founders of Jewish-Muslim women’s group Nisa-Nashim. 

 

Liverpool Reform Synagogue: 

Liverpool Reform Synagogue was full of families for two Chanukah events featuring crafts, chat, cards, games, candle lightings and plenty of doughnuts! 

 

Alyth Synagogue: 

Alyth Synagogue combined the second night of Chanukah with a tour of the new ground floor space being created. The community enjoyed, mulled wine and doughnuts as they lit a giant menorah on the construction site. 

 

The Liberal Synagogue Elstree: 

The Liberal Synagogue Elstree’s Chanukah celebrations were led by Rabbi Cantor Gershon Silins as they held a joint zoom party and solidarity candle lighting with V’ahaveta Shoham Reform Synagogue in Israel. Click here to read more. 

 

RSY-Netzer and LJY-Netzer: 

Our youth movements united for two events – with the Movement Workers taking part in the Chanukah lighting at the American Ambassador’s residence in London and hosting an online event for young Progressive Jews around the country. 

 

Ealing Liberal Synagogue: 

At Ealing Liberal Synagogue’s Chanukah Tea Party, members and friends were given the task of making their own Chanukiot from a variety of materials – including Lego. 

 

Bromley and District Reform Synagogue: 

Events across South East London, organised by Bromley Synagogue, included a candle lighting in a local pub for members and their friends and guests. A great turnout of all ages were treated to a musical performance and overflowing doughnuts! Click here to read more. 

 

Newcastle Reform Synagogue: 

More than 70 members of Newcastle Reform celebrated Chanukah with a fabulous party including dreidel games, crafts and of course multitudes of latkes. The candle lighting and singing was led by Rabbi Sybil Sheridan. 

 

East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue: 

East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue held a fourth night Chanukah event where the community’s children joined Rabbi Richard Jacobi to light the menorah. 

 

Southend Reform Synagogue: 

A family Chanukah event was hosted at Southend Reform Synagogue, with guests from Chelmsford Jewish Community. Southend members then enjoyed the Chelmsford celebrations at Essex County Cricket Ground – where alongside a candle lighting and delicious food, the children were gifted cricket goodie bags. 

 

The Ark Synagogue: 

The Ark Synagogue’s Care Team threw a Chanukah Party full of song (picture by Victor Shack). 

 

Hull Reform Synagogue: 

Members of Hull Reform Synagogue put on a poignant event that mixed showing support for Israel with some traditional Chanukah fun. 

 

Mosaic Jewish Community: 

The Liberal, Reform and Masorti Synagogues that make up the Mosaic Jewish Community in Stanmore came together for a joint Chanukah celebration.  



Radlett Reform Synagogue: 

Radlett Reform Synagogue held a number of Chanukah events including a second night Chavurah supper, cheder party and final night Chanukah tea, with Rabbi David-Yehuda Stern and resident musician Josh Laikin. 

 

Wimbledon Synagogue: 

Events at Wimbledon Synagogue included an interfaith study evening, cheder party, Chanukah concert and candle lighting led by Rabbi Adrian Michael Schell. 

 

North Herts Progressive Jewish Community.: 

More than 50 Progressive Jews living in North Hertfordshire came together to celebrate Chanukah at an intergenerational party full of food, song, craft and the lighting of multiple chanukiot. The event marked the launch of a new entity – North Herts Progressive Jewish Community. Click here to read more. 

 

Sha’arei Tsedek: 

Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue was full of members of all ages for a Chanukah service and party led by Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu. 

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