Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue held their inaugural special Shabbat and Civic Service on 15 July. The two local MPs, two mayors, local and national dignitaries joined over 450 people in this memorable celebration. Reform Judaism was represented by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers.
Organiser of the day Jeffery Fisher said: “The lovely Service was both moving and inspiring, and everyone looks forward in the future to a vibrant and successful new community”.
All four rabbis and members of both the old Hendon Reform Synagogue and Edgware Reform & District Synagogue contributed to make this a true celebration and a coming together.
Rabbi Daniel Smith said: “today we can pay respect to HRS and to EDRS, and express our gratitude for the story so far that has brought us to this day. Our new name, ‘Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue’ is meant to signify the continuity of both entities merging into one community. And now, like a marriage, having praised the background of the groom and the bride, it is a time for the couple to commit to the new partnership and begin writing a new chapter together.
“Our Hebrew name Kehilla Kedosha LeDor VaDor is a little more radical than our English name. This is often translated as ‘to all generations’ or ‘from generation to generation’. LeDor VaDor suggests a constant renewal and revival. A purpose and meaning that is long lasting, and transcends any particular generation. It is a recognition that we are part of a bigger story. In all that we do we try to respond to the needs of the moment, and also keep in mind the needs of the next generation and try to hand over something good.
“It is our intention to have something good for every generation: a thriving kindergarten, a great education programmes, youth groups, a welcoming young adult group, social, cultural and educational activities for adults, New Options for recently retired, a day centre and friendship club for the elderly. We strive to be a caring and supportive community to people at every stage of life”.
Joint Chair Stephen Garfinkel said: “Our new community although Europe’s largest synagogue is open, friendly and welcoming combining the personal touch, dedicated volunteers backed up by a fantastic professional team. We’re looking forward to building on these strong foundations to provide a warm home for members and their families of today and tomorrow”.