On 21 February, Leo Baeck College rabbinic student Kath Vardi led the Shabbat service at Menorah Synagogue along with the graduating class of Shaliach Tzibbur. This course was developed by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Reform Judaism’s Community Educator to help our communities empower members to lead religious services in their synagogues.
Sarita Robinson, Reform Judaism’s Northern Community Partner said “it was super to see how everyone from very different backgrounds had gained so much from the course and led their community so well”.
Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers explains: “We were asked by some of our Northern communities to create a course to empower their membership as confident and creative service leaders. We have put together seven week, four week, three week and booster session versions to meet a variety of needs, and were delighted that Student Rabbi Kath Vardi has been able to launch the course so successfully, not only receiving great feedback but with students asking for more. The course is a fantastic tool to enable those wishing to or already leading services in their community to understand and engage with a range of services, and to be more creative within them. The course covers a diverse range of areas from the structure of the service to tots services to shivas, creative readings and kevah (the form of prayer) and kavannah (the spiritual intent of prayer). We are hoping to offer the course again at Shirei Chagigah, and the resources are available to those communities wanting to use them”.
The course was run over three weeks with participants from Menorah, Manchester Reform and Southport. Another course is being organised jointly between Southport and Liverpool and another at Sha’arei Shalom.