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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visits West London Synagogue

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan attended West London Synagogue (WLS) last Shabbat morning as part of the Show up for Shabbat campaign in response to the Pittsburgh attack. Jim Fletcher, WLS Trustee said: “We are honoured that he chose this flagship Reform Judaism synagogue as the appropriate place to demonstrate his solidarity with the UK Jewish community”.

The service included a Bar Mitzvah and was led by WLS’ Principal Rabbi Helen Freeman and Rabbi Neil Janes.

Rabbi Neil said: “How truly sustaining and significant the small act of sitting in pews with us all across the world has become – and a message of strength to Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation and the grieving families. Last week Jews were gunned down in pews like these. Today in defiance we sit together with the human family to strive to increase the goodness in the world, to bring light to darkness, to show that we will not be cowed by violence in our observance of our faith or engagement with the world”

Later Rabbi Neil focussed on the synagogue’s ground-breaking work working with other communities in supporting those most in need, and – recognising that many community members are themselves descendants of refugees – its work with asylum seekers, refugees and those without homes.

Sadiq Khan’s reading at the service included the following words by Rabbi Karyn Kedar:

“We pray for the soul of our country.
May violence be no more.
May the way of our land be for good and not for evil.
May the words we speak, inspire.
May our outstretched arms, embrace.
May our minds learn tolerance and understanding.
Strike the inclination to do evil
From the hearts of the wicked.
Empower us for good, for life, for love”.

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