Milton Keynes & District Reform Synagogue (MKDRS) held their first ever Open Day on Sunday, 1 July 2018, attracting over 200 people. MKDRS is 40 years old this year and to celebrate decided to open its doors to the wider community.
The free event attracted people of all faiths from across Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas. Many people had never been in a synagogue before and were curious to learn more about Judaism. Others were Jewish families who hadn’t realised that there was a synagogue in Milton Keynes. The Mayor of Milton Keynes, Cllr Martin Petchey, came to join in the celebrations and cut the 40th anniversary cake.
Guests were treated to a skit performed by the Cheder children, Hebrew songs sung MKDRS Choir and a play written and performed by the post Bnei-Mitzvah children: ‘The service that goes wrong’. To round off the day, Crossroots, a five-piece band led by member Andy Gilbert, got people up on their feet dancing.
Throughout the day members were on hand to show visitors the Torah scroll and answer any questions. Displays provided information on Judaism and Jewish holidays and the history and activities of the Synagogue.
The Reading Group gave away used books in return for a donation and raised over £80, which will be split equally between Willen Hospice and the East Anglia Air Ambulance.
Priscilla Dorrance, Chair of MKDRS says, “The Open Day exceeded all our expectations. From the moment we opened our doors at 11am, right through to the finish, the whole Synagogue was buzzing. It was tremendous to be able to share our friendly community with so many people.”