North Western Reform Synagogue (Alyth) celebrated the 90th anniversary of its first service with a week of activities, including services, study sessions, a guest lecture and a celebratory concert.
More than 350 people attended the special anniversary service on Erev Shabbat 16 June, 90 years to the day after the first service which took place on 16 June 1933 in the home of one of the founders.
The week of celebration included activities for all parts of the 3,500-member community, including an intergenerational version of the synagogue’s Baby Den service; lectures on the history and architecture of the synagogue; a guest lecture by Professor Michael A Meyer of HUC Cincinnati on Rabbi Dr. Leo Baeck, who became the first President of the synagogue; and a special morning for the community’s children taking a trip through the 9 decades of Alyth life, accompanied by members who had grown up in the synagogue.
The week ended with a celebration of the community’s choral tradition with a concert of Alyth choirs, including special performances by an Interfaith Choir and of the Alyth Refugee Choir.
Alyth’s Principal Rabbi Josh Levy said, “The past week has been a true celebration of what makes this community special – a diverse range of activities for every age and interest. When they had the vision of a Progressive community in the heart of Golders Green, the founders could never have imagined what their synagogue would become.”
Alyth President Jon Epstein called the week, “A wonderful and emotional marking of a significant milestone in Alyth’s history”.