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Elstree and Shoham: Sharing the light during dark days


The Chanukah candles did their job and the smiles on the children’s faces did the rest as The Liberal Synagogue in Elstree (TLSE) shared their celebration with the V’ahaveta Shoham Reform Synagogue in Israel.
After Elstree and Boreham Wood Town Council officially twinned with Shoham earlier this year, the two Jewish communities made it a Chanukah special by jointly conducting a candle lighting ceremony together via Zoom. The children focused event also included singing songs in Hebrew and English, as well as enjoying tea and doughnuts via the online link up.
Rabbi Gershon Silins from TLSE said: “When we light our Chanukah candles, we think of our people all over the world who are lighting them just as we do. So, to share with our twinned congregation this year we also shared our joy, song, and light as we celebrate and learn from each other.”
“It was very moving to light candles both in Israel and England, especially in these difficult days when darkness seems to take over all that is good,” said Rabbi Rinat Safania Shwartz of V’ahaveta Shoham. “Only light can overcome darkness. Chanukah is a great time to start connections between our two communities.”
And how much did the children enjoy it? “I had an amazing day at the synagogue,” beamed 8-year-old Raff. “I enjoyed playing games, putting the shamash in the chanukiah and guessing how many chocolate coins were in a jar. But I think I ate too many doughnuts!”

  • This Friday, we will publish a full round-up of Chanukah pictures and events from around our Progressive communities. If you’d like to be included, please send your pictures to
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