Rosh Hashanah 2010 / 5771 - New West End Synagogue

newwestend.org.uk

Rosh Hashanah 2010 / 5771 - New West End Synagogue

MosaicLiving, Learningand CaringJeremy Jacobs, Chief Executiveof the United SynagogueSocial & PersonalWe offer a very warm welcome toMazal Tov toWe extend our condolences to:It’s been quite a year…The Jewish communityfaces many challenges.We see antisemitism onthe rise across Europe,in New Zealand shechitahas been outlawed andin the world’s press Israelis vilified.Closer to home our students faceincreasing anti-Zionist sentiments oncampus, the JFS case has seen dramaticchanges to Jewish schools’ admissions,and legislative changes continue to bringnew requirements regarding (amongstother things) disability, equality, VAT andCRB checking. And yet, life goes on forevery one of our local communities.Week in, week out, thousands of memberscontinue to live a Jewish life enriched bytheir belonging to the US. Ours is a veryspecial community living an authentic,inclusive and contemporary Jewish life.My commitment as Chief Executive of theUS is to ensure that our members haveaccess to the greatest possible benefit fromtheir membership.Taking the lead from the Chief Rabbi,quoting the second mishna in Ethics of theFathers, the work of the US is built on thefoundations of Torah, Avodah and GemilutChasadim. In practice this translates into anenormous wealth of opportunities some ofwhich you will be familiar with, and otherswhich are new. Here are some examplesof the latter:Our “Living and learning” programme isan inspiring new strategic approach toJewish education and living Judaism thatlinks communities, schools and homes.As this new initiative gets under way, newactivities and events will offer stimulatingopportunities to engage all our memberswith our vibrant Jewish heritage. A guideto the festivals of Tishrei, new children’sservice resources for children and parents,programmes for newlyweds, explanatoryvideos – these are just a taste of whatis to come.US Chesed is working on a growingnumber of initiatives under the umbrellasof Project Chesed and US CommunityCares. The determination that members ofour community must care for one anotherlies at the very heart of the US. As a resultof this, the work of US Chesed touchesthousands of people who are profoundlyaffected by this work and it is somethingof which we can be justifiably proud.Letting our members know what is on offerto them is crucial – especially for thoseless involved. This is why we are workingto improve our member communications.Look out for our new publication You & USwhich in addition to its New Year printededition will come to life as an onlineresource giving every member accessto news and views of interest as well asarticles and features to do with all areasof US activity. There will also be room forcomment, feedback and debate – so ifyou feel strongly about something, here’show you can share your thoughts with a(world)wide audience.Everything we do is focussed on servicingour communities and meeting members’needs and aspirations. Our professionalteam, trustees and council, our Rabbonimand lay-leaders – all are working togetherto ensure we go from strength to strength:Living, learning and caring.Finally may I take this opportunity ofwishing you all a healthy, happy andpeaceful new year.the following new Members ofthe Synagogue:• Mr. Michael and Mrs. Marilyn Harris• Mr. Martin and Mrs. Michelle ZulbergMazal Tov to all who were marriedat the New West End over the lastfew months:• Stephanie Graham and Lewis Lee• Lee Gower and Sam Shaerf• Simone Kaye and Brett Simon• Natalie Silver and Scott Belasco• Michelle Hyams and David Ross• Katie Monk and Philip Korklin• Hayley Lamb and Robert Sethill• Karen Milner and David Darwin• Laura Wallis and Samuel Sloma• Dahlia Marcusfield and Jake Weiner• Zoe Rosenblatt and Robin Grainger• Stacey Album and Adam Gross• Lara Sinclair and Michael Lewis• Simon Turner on his 60th birthday• Jeff Hammerschlag on his 60th birthday• Jonathan Skry on his 50th birthday• Rabbi Mendy and Soroh Loewenthal onthe birth of their daughter Chaya Mushka• Stanley Brodie QC on his 80th birthday• Olivia Sharron on her Bat Mitzvah• Judy and Julian Machet on theirdaughter’s wedding• Michelle and Martin Zulberg on theirson’s wedding• Mr. Lionel Manuel on his 85th birthday• Yvonne and Elliot Burman on their 25thwedding anniversary• Karen Katz, daughter of Jacquie andStuart Katz, on her engagement toDavid Alberts• Zoe and Andrew Braham on the birthof a girlThe Board of Management along withthe members, as well as visitors to theNWE, wish to thank all those who havesponsored Kiddushim over recent months.The Kiddushim provide a time to make newfriends and catch up with old ones. Wewould like to thank you all!We regret to announce thefollowing deaths:• Mrs. Daisy Barnett• Mr. Gerald Fine• Mrs. Zena Lewis• Mr. Leslie Miller• Mr. Elliot Berman on the loss of his father• Mr. Michael Herman on the loss ofhis father• Mrs. Fay Miller on the loss of her husband• Mr. Michael Scheuer on the loss ofhis mother• Mrs. Marcella Spelman on the loss ofher brother• Mrs. Michele Tarsh on the loss of her fatherMay the Almighty comfort you among theother mourners of Zion and JerusalemWE WILL REMEMBER THEMWe have introduced the practice ofreciting Memorial Prayers to recognise thegenerosity of those who have left legaciesto the Synagogue in their Wills, and whowill be permanently acknowledged in ourYizkor Book.We are extremely grateful to thosecongregants who have made bequests,which enable us to maintain and preserveour beautiful Synagogue together withits activities.If you would like to make provision inyour Will for the future benefit of theSynagogue please contact the office.


MosaicChief Rabbi’sRosh HashanahMessage 5771One of the enduring features of Jewishspirituality is that we relate to God as apeople, not simply as individuals in searchof salvation. It was as a people that ourancestors were rescued from Egypt, as apeople that they made a covenant with God,and as a people that we have lived out ourdestiny ever since.Once a year, on Yom Kippur, the High Priestwould seek forgiveness for the entire people.And though we have not had a Temple foralmost 2000 years, still we confess together.We say “We have sinned,” not “I have sinned.”The same is true for other prayers. When wepray for people who are ill, we ask that thesufferer be healed“ along with others in Israelwho are sick.” When we comfort mourners,we say, “May God comfort you together withthe other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.’’Our destinies are interlinked. A tragedy forone is a tragedy for all. As the sages said, ‘’A1Israel are responsible for one another.”The eternal symbol - and today the livingreality - of that collective existence is theland and the state of Israel. In the 4000 yearssince the days of Abraham and Sarah, it isthe only place where Jews have ever hadthe chance to construct a society accordingto our own principles and beliefs, to governourselves, defend ourselves, and live acollective life.Israel is built into the very idea of teshuvah,which means not “repentance’’ but “return”All the prophets who experienced orforesaw exile, saw the Jewish getting to theland as an essential accompaniment to theJewish return to the faith. Our connectionto the land is more than merely political. It iswritten in to the very terms of Judaism as afaith, the West’s oldest faith.Since the day it was born, 62 years ago, Israelhas been under assault. Hardly a year haspassed without war or the threat of war,terror or the threat of terror. But today itsvery legitimacy - its right to be, and to defenditself - is under attack. Israel has become theJew among the nations, an internationalpariah, charged, as Jews were charged in theMiddle Ages, with demonic crimes and wildaccusations. lt is hard not to see this as thecontinuation, in a new form, of an ancientand terrible history about which the worldonce said, “Never Again.”Israel needs our prayers. It has achievedgreat things. It has rescued threatened Jewsacross the world. It has turned Hebrew, thelanguage of the Bible, into a living tongue.It has built centres of Jewish learningunparalleled since the days of the Mishnah.Today we can say, with the prophet, “FromZion shall go forth Torah, and the wordof the Lord from Jerusalem.’’ Born a merethree years after the Jewish people walkedthrough the valley of the shadow of death, itrepresents a momentous affirmationof life.Please, in the days and weeks ahead, holdIsrael in your prayers. Its people are ourpeople. Its land is the only land Jews haveknown as home in the sense given by thepoet Robert Frost: “the place where, whenyou have to go there, they have to let youin.” In the coming year may God bless thepeople of Israel in the land of Israel withsecurity, tranquility and peace, and may Hewrite us all in the Book of Life.Bebirkat ketivah vechatimah torahChief Rabbi Lord SacksRosh Hashanah 5771305 Ballards Lane London N12 8GB Tel: 0208343 6301 fax: 020 8343 6310info@chiefrabbi.org www.chiefrabbi.orgRabbiShisler’sMessageWhen I speak to groups of non-Jews,particularly children, and ask them what theword ‘rabbi’ means, I usually get answerssuch as “a priest” or “holy man.” I always tellthem that I’m not a ‘holy’ man (and if theydon’t believe me they can ask my wife!) andI’m also not a priest. I am a teacher, and theword rabbi means just that - “a teacher”.I think it is very significant that a religiousleader in Judaism is called “teacher”because, the fact that the spiritual leadersof our people are given this title, reflectsthe importance that Judaism places oneducation. Indeed, there have been times inhistory when people have tried to stop uslearning, and Jews have laid down their livesrather than cease learning and teaching ourreligion.When the Romans issued a decree againstlearning and teaching Torah, Rabbi Akivahignored them and continued to teach. Hedid it quite openly, gathering around him vastnumbers of students. When someone askedhim why he was so brazen in going againstthe edict of their overlords and putting hislife in peril, he said that Torah was his entirelife and without it he would be like a fishon land. Out of the water, the fish wouldcertainly die. In the water it might, or mightnot get caught by the fishermen. Similarly,while he continued to learn and teach Torah,he may or may not be caught by the Romansand be put to death, but were he to ceasestudying, he would certainly die.“Jews have laiddown their livesrather thancease learningand teachingour religion.”Another Rabbi, Yochanan ben Zakkaimanaged to get himself secreted out ofJerusalem while it was being besieged by theRomans, in the year 70 CE. He approachedthe Roman General Vespasian and greetedhim as “Emperor”. When, moments later, anenvoy arrived from Rome proclaiming thatVespasian was indeed the new Emperor,Rabbi Yochanan was offered anything hewished, as a reward.Rabbi Yochanan could have asked foranything his heart desired, but, knowng thatthe future of the entire Jewish people wasat stake, he asked that the town of Yavnehand its scholars be spared. This requestwas granted, and there’s no doubt that there-establishment of a place to teach andstudy Torah enabled our people to survive.In fact, there are many laws and customsthat we continue to observe today that wereestablished at Yavneh.The Rabbis have always looked upon Torahstudy as an occupation that should continueto the very end of our life. Every evening wesay in our prayers:“They (Torah and Mitzvot) are our life andthe length of our days, and we shall meditateon them by day and by night...”As Jews we have a responsibility to learnand to teach. I think it is very sad whenpeople proudly tell me that their childrenand grandchildren, who go to a JewishSchool, are now teaching them. Imagine ifthey came home from Primary School toteach you some Arithmetic that they knewand you didn’t. An adult, who has forgottenall the Arithmetic he/she learned at thatlevel, won’t have got far in life. While it maybe “cute”, it’s not appropriate that 8 and 9year-old children know more about basicJudaism than their parentsand grandparents.In the New West End we run a weekly studysession on a Tuesday night, to which everysingle member of the Shul is invited - andwould be most welcome. This is a very livelyand interesting discussion group, and we arecurrently studying “The Ethics of the Fathers”.If you have not been before, please give it atry. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.This year we are also trying an innovationon the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Fromthe beginning of the “Reading of the Torah”we shall be holding an “Explanatory Service.”During the course of the Musaf service weshall stop occasionally to explain the historyof some of our prayers, their meaning, andthe correct way to daven. We hope that youwill find this interesting, and that it will aidyou in your understanding of the service,and help you gain more from the service.I hope that your davening will be enhancedby this new venture, and that all our prayers,for ourselves, for our families and for ourpeople will be answered for good.Anne and I wish you a sweet andhealthy 5771.Rabbi Geoffrey ShislerRosh Hashanah 5771


MosaicWe wish all theNWES communitya sweet & peacefulNew YearWishing the Rabbi,Chazan, Wardens andall the Congregationa happy and peacefulNew Year and well overthe FastuPauline & Frank BARNETT,David Chantal, Richard,Jo & all the children.A happyand healthy yearto you alluSandra BLACKMANand FamilyRabbi & Mrs. SHISLER and family wish the community ahealthy and peaceful New Year.uWishing everyone a peaceful, healthy and happy New Yearfrom The ADMINISTRATORuBest wishes for a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year fromZara BRICKMAN and Lionel KAUFMANuGeoffrey and Valerie GREEN wish all the community a happyand healthy New YearuWishing Rabbi & Mrs. Shisler, Honorary Officers and the entireNew West End Community a happy and healthy New Yearfrom the HAMMERSCHLAG FamilyuAll best wishes for a very happy, healthy and peaceful NewYear – Jane and Cyril HODESuTo the Congregation and Honorary Officers – Happy New Yearfrom Yolande HOPMEIERuSusan & Harvey KATZ wish Rabbi and Mrs. Shisler togetherwith our family and friends a happy and healthy New Year andwell over the FastChag Sameach to the Rabbi, Anne, Jeremy and theCongregation from Roy and Barbara LEVINuWith our best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year to allour Community - Linda and Martin LEWINuNew Year greetings and well over the Fast to all at the NewWest End Synagogue – Denise and Melvyn LUXHappy New Year from the LUX-DAYSuWishing the community a healthy and happy New Year fromCollette LUX and David PRICEuMaxine & Michael MARGOLIS and Family wish Rabbi & Mrs.Shisler, the Honorary Officers and the entire Community ahappy and peaceful New YearuHilde and Jonathan MATHESON wish Rabbi & Mrs. Shislerand all their friends a happy and healthy New Year and wellover the FastuHappy New Year to all – Renée and Valerie RICHMANSybil SCHAPIRO wishes everyone a healthy, happy Year.uBe healthy, be happy, be wealthy in 5771 from Fariba, Doriand Raphael SCHMETTERLINGuMrs. Phyllis SHAPRO wishes everybody a peaceful New Yearand well over the FastuThe SHARRON Family wish all members and friends a veryhappy, healthy and peaceful New YearuWishing the whole community a healthy and happy New Year– Angela, Jon, Rachel and Zac SKRYuMarcella and Bobby wish all their friends a happy New YearuHappy New Year to all the community from The STEINFELDFamilyuA very happy New Year to all at the New West End fromthe STONE FamilyuWith best wishes to you all for a happy and healthy New Year– Morris WEINTROUBWith all best wishesto the Honorary Officers,the Beadle, staff andfellow members ofthe congregation amost rewarding andhealthy yearuLord & Lady WOOLF


MosaicVictor, Esther,Rudi & Theo Fieldgrasswish their family andfriends a happy, healthyand joyous New YearJacquie & Stuart KATZuWish all their friendsin the community ahappy, healthy andpeaceful New YearFrank, Felicity, Alex,Ben and Josh MILLERwish Rabbi and Mrs.Shisler, Cantor JeremyLawson, the HonoraryOfficers, the Board ofManagement andthe whole communitya L’Shana Tova– a happy and sweetNew YearLANDO – Carol,Laurence and Jessicawish all congregantsa healthy, happyNew Year and wellover the FastBest wishes toRabbi & Mrs. Shisler,Rev. Lawson, Eli andco-members for ahealthy and happyNew YearuHilary & DavidSLOVICK10 11


MosaicDerry and TonyDINKINuwish everyone ahappy and peacefulNew YearNorman and ThelmaEPSTEIN wish Rabbi& Mrs. Shisler, TheHonorary Officers andmembers a happyNew Year and wellover the FastMay this New Year bring Mazel,Brocha to all our members andmay our morning minyanimalso prosper with an increase innumbers each dayStanley BLUMWishing all the congregationa healthy, happy & prosperousNew YearuStephen Wax ArchitectsWe wish all the NWEScommunity a sweet andpeaceful New YearGaby, Howard,Josh & LucyMORRIS12 13


MosaicChairman’sLetterDear Members of theNew West End Community,When my wife and I first came to the NewWest End Synagogue nearly a decade ago,I never imagined that I would write to thiscommunity as the Chairman of the Boardof Management. In fact, the thought wasthe furthest thing from my mind. This mayhave been primarily a result of feelingoverwhelmed by the history of the NewWest End and the imposing splendour ofthe building itself. What would an Americanraised in the suburbs of New Jersey have tooffer a long established West London Jewishcommunity that had its Shabbat servicesoverseen by men in top hats?It did not take long to learn that even abrash American could find a dependablywarm welcome here. With each passingRosh Hashanah, I have discovered that onecannot claim merely to “attend services” atthe New West End Synagogue. We do notsimply spend time at the shul - we investtime here in the way people invest time withtheir family and friends. As my own familyhas grown, the New West End has come tobe our spiritual home, and a place wherewe can share and enjoy a rich Jewish lifeamongst friends.And so I have come to recognise thatthe true splendour of the New West EndSynagogue is to be found in its people andnot merely in its edifice. And the history ofthis shul is not nearly as compelling as thepromise in its future.With these thoughts in mind, the ideaof accepting an opportunity to serve asChairman was not such an outlandishnotion. Instead, it was a question of whetherI could accept the responsibility of servingpeople who had become dear to me. Whenput that way, how could I refuse?Only after the vote did I consider whatenormous shoes there were to fill. DuringAugust 2010 /Av 5770my time as a member, the New WestEnd Synagogue has been immenselyfortunate to have had at its helm ourprevious Acting Chair, Gaby Morris, and ourformer Chairman Melvyn Lux. I am deeplyindebted to them both especially, as well asto each of the former Chairmen and ViceChairpersons, Financial Representativesand Wardens. I have called on many of ourprevious Honorary Officers to share theirexperiences and insights with me as I beganmy term, and I expect to continue to do sofrom time to time. I know I speak on behalfof the entire community when I express toeach of them, and to all of the members ofour Board of Management who have endedtheir tenure, our thanks and appreciationfor their service.I must also mention Rabbi Shisler andRebbetzen Anne Shisler. They havetogether a better understanding abouthow to organise a synagogue serving anOrthodox Anglo-Jewish community thanI can ever hope to learn, and I am gratefulfor their unwavering support for me and theother Honorary Officers.I would also like to mention our Vice Chair,Dorothea Josem, Financial RepresentativeHarry Sieratzki, and Wardens JonathanSkry and Stanley Blum. We have beenworking closely over these past few monthsand have come to understand better boththe extraordinary accomplishments wecan recall with justifiable pride as well asthe challenges that lie ahead. And we aresupported now by our new Administrator,Michael Wahnon, who is providingdedicated support in the shul office.At this point in this letter, it seems thecustom for the Chairman to recite theprevious year’s notable events andachievements and to recall as many ofthe individual contributions made asspace permits. I am happy to report thatspace simply would not permit a full andfair accounting. Many, many people havecontributed selflessly both their time andenergy towards organising our events andactivities and ensuring the smooth operationof our services, from Purim to Pesach, fromthe Cheder to Club Sameach. And whilethe efforts of individuals and our variouscommittees are too many to mention, itseems to me that first among all is our Guildwhich serves as the pulse of our communityunder the able stewardship of Anne Shisler.I want to conclude by describing for youtwo challenges I have set for the New WestEnd Synagogue for the coming year, each ofwhich has been endorsed by the HonoraryOfficers and the full Board of Management.• The first is for the New West EndSynagogue to establish a reputationfor having a reliable minyan. I haveset this challenge in recognition of theindispensible role we play in providinga place for Jews in our community todaven and fulfil the obligations ofJewish life. This is not a burden to beborne, but rather a responsibility to beembraced.• The second is to become known far andwide for our promotion and preservationof music in the Synagogue and thestrength of our musical tradition. Thischallenge is one I chose to set because itbuilds on one of our greatest strengthsand an inspiring feature in our servicesabout which there is broad consensus.We should not settle for what we have,however - we should strive for more.You will be hearing more about these twochallenges as we move beyond the YamimNoraim and into 5771. Whether you are aseasoned regular or a new member justfinding your way and getting used to the tophats, I can assure you that each of us willhave a chance to make a contribution.It only remains for me to offer to each of you,on behalf of the Honorary Officers and theentire Board of Management, and from meand my family, sincere wishes for a peaceful,healthy and happy New Year.Frank L MillerChairman of the Board of Management“Generations”The New West End SynagogueGuild Recipe BookAnne ShislerI am not sure who had the bright ideato produce a recipe book (it might havebeen me!) but we started a very long timeago. We collected recipes and then gotbusy with other things. Occasionally wegot a few more recipes together but lifeintervened again and the project got put onhold. However, we did decide on a name- Generations.This year we decided we were really goingto do it. We collected recipes from everygeneration of our community. We evenacquired some from Aunts and Grandmasno longer with us and some from theyoungest members of our synagogue – andso the project was revitalised.The guild has been very lucky to have twoamazing people who helped us. ShanaBallon put onto computer every singlerecipe we received and Sheli Rodneycollated and edited them - truly mammothtasks. In the end we had more recipes thanwe could possibly use. We would haveloved to use them all but the cost of printingis such that it was impossible, so pleaseforgive if we were not able to use all thatyou sent us, but we have tried to pick anunusual and interesting mix.A suggestion has been made that we putthe recipes we could not use onto the shulwebsite. So watch that space.The community supported our committeeby putting greetings and advertisementsin the book and a special ‘thank you’ mustgo to Susan Katz and the committee forall their help. The more money we raiseon the book the more we can support thesynagogue and all the charities that ask forour help. Our latest donation of £1000 hasgone to the Friends of Jewish Servicemenand Servicewomen. Hopefully this willhelp them wherever they are – in Iraq, inAfghanistan or other far-flung places.The book is dedicated to the memory ofSharlott Toube – Felicity Miller’s mother,Trevor’s late wife. She was a dedicated cookand we hope that some of the recipes willinspire you too.We could not have finished this project soprofessionally without Caryl Harris and herbrilliant team at Creative Interpartners.Caryl’s team help us produce the shulmagazine and have entered enthusiasticallyinto the job of producing the book. Theyhave taken photos, come up with amazingcreative designs, helped design the pagesand been absolutely wonderful.As I write this article the book is finally beingput together and going to print. The launchis scheduled for Sunday September 5th andwe have guest star cook Silvia Nacamullicoming to give us a demonstration. We areplanning to invite some of our recipe donorsinto the shul kitchen the week beforeto make their creations for you to taste. Ihope you will be there to support us. Theprice of admission to the demonstrationwill include one recipe book, and you willbe able to buy more books as gifts on thatnight and before September 5th at a specialpre-publication price. Order forms will beon the website too as well as being sent outby post and email.On the nextpage you can seesome recipes that wedidn’t have room for- but there are lotsmore in the book!14 15


MosaicBP and thebusiness yearDaniel Greenberghonorary consultant toJABE, Jewish Associationfor Business Ethics“The notion ofliability andresponsibilityis the essenceof Jewishbusiness ethicsand, indeed,of the Jewishworld-attitudegenerally.”Among the lessons to be learned from themain business story of the last year, theGulf of Mexico oil spill, Jewish businessethics have something to contribute. In aworld increasingly dominated by legalitiesand litigation, BP might have relied on therules of the American Oil Spill Liability TrustFund, according to which their liability fordamages (as distinct from restoration work)would have been limited to $75 million. Butin fact, at an early stage BP announced thatthey were not intending to rely on this legallimitation of liability, but would establish afund to compensate anyone harmed by thedisaster, a fund whose assets currently total$20 billion.Of course, it is not unreasonably cynicalto speculate that this massive gesturemay have owed more to commercial andpolitical pressures and realities than toethical commitment; but it does reflectJewish ethical teaching.The one feature of Jewish business law thatis at most striking variance with secularcommercial law throughout the modernworld is the complete absence of theconcept of limited liability. In Britain, thedevelopment of limited liability companiesbegan with the need to finance industrialgrowth, and they have become a feature ofthe commercial world taken for granted bythe entire business community. But whilelimitation of liability is the norm for thesecular commercial world, with the courtsprepared to “pierce the corporate veil” andimpose personal liability on directors onlyin very limited circumstances, the halachicpresumption is the reverse, with limitationof liability only being permitted as arare exception.The notion of liability and responsibilityis the essence of Jewish business ethicsand, indeed, of the Jewish worldattitudegenerally. Judaism encouragesentrepreneurial endeavour; but the moremy activities take me into areas that affectother people’s lives, the more I am requiredto accept responsibility for their lives, andto ensure that I do not do more harm thangood for those with whom I comeinto contact.The spiritual stock-taking which Jewsundertake on Rosh Hashanah, in regardto our business and other activities ofthe previous year, includes checking thatif we have inadvertently harmed othersin the course of our activities, we havealso done everything possible – and notjust everything convenient or required bysecular commercial law – to putthings right.Daniel Greenberg, honoraryconsultant to JABE, JewishAssociation for Business Ethics.JABE is a registered educationalcharity that aims to raise standardsof honesty, integrity and socialresponsibility through:Educating young people aboutmoral dilemmas they will face inthe workplace through our highlyacclaimed ‘Money & Morals’school programme. Seminars &educational events for businesspeople and professionalsThought provoking publications onkey moral issuesFor further information pleasecontact JABE on 0208 905 4048,e-mail: info@jabe.orgwww.jabe.org22 23


MosaicCheder PrizeGivingOn Sunday 27th June, the New West End Synagoguehosted the annual Prize-giving for the joint Cheder classes,held with Holland Park Synagogue, which are appropriatelynamed “Or Torah Chadash”.The Golda Cohen room was set up with atop table for our guest of honour, NWESchairman, Frank Miller and his wife,Felicity, together with Rabbi Shisler, MiraGrant (headteacher) and Michael Sharron(teacher/parent liaison), and the rows ofseats were filled by over 25 Cheder childrentogether with their parents who came towitness the prize-giving, having earliermingled over some welcome refreshments,prepared by Rebbetzen Anne Shisler.Michael Sharron introduced theproceedings and thanked the Rabbanimand Rebbetzin of New West End andHolland Park for their valuable input to theCheder over the last year, as well as theheadteacher, Mira Grant, and her dedicatedstaff for all their hard work in teaching thechildren and keeping them enthused intheir continued learning and array of classactivities. He also thanked the securitystaff who help make the Cheder a safe andsecure place to learn. Mira Grant addressedthe room and read out a letter from RabbiLabi”s daughter, Shirelle, who was unableto attend, and is now studying in Israel.Frank Miller spoke to the children, quotingMark Twain and his description of how itis that Jews, being such a small proportionof the world’s population, are still ableto make a significant contribution to thewelfare of the world with their values.The reason proffered by Mr. Miller was“education”; he provided a physical promptof a sponge to illustrate how the soaking upof Jewish knowledge is what the Chederchildren will be able to take with theminto their adulthood and he thanked thechildren collectively for attending Cheder,as this one act embodies what Mark Twainwas saying when he wrote “what is thesecret of (the Jews’) immortality?”.The prize-giving then took place withSiddurim, books and certificates handedto all the children, and special prizes of aShield and Cup, all presented by Felicityand Frank Miller.Rabbi Shisler addressed the children tocongratulate them on their efforts and tostress the importance of their learning, andhow when Jewish people stick together(as manifested through our own Chederclasses), they remain strong; a thoughtprovokinganalogy was made, that if eachindividual represents a stick, it is stillpossible to break, however if each stick isheld together as part of a bunch, then it isnot possible to be broken.Everyone left the Shul after a wonderfullyuplifting day for both the children and theirproud parents.The nextCheder termwill commenceon Sunday 5thSeptember, tobe held atHolland Park.“Jews, being such a small proportionof the world’s population, arestill able to make a significantcontribution to the welfare of theworld with their values”24 25


MosaicAdministrator’smessageDear Rabbi, Mrs. Shisler and Members,Raisingthe RoofHarry Sieratzki“Slating in progress to north aisle roof”I am delighted to introduce myself to you as your new administrator. My name is MesodWahnon but I am also known as Michael. I started on the 2nd June 2010 and took overfrom Esther Berhman. Please feel free to either pop into the office or call me on the phoneand introduce yourselves to me. I am always happy to help you.I speak English, Spanish, French and a little Hebrew.I was born and bred in Gibraltar. I have one brother and three sisters. We came over toLondon in 1965 and I finished my education here in London. I then embarked into a careerin Bookkeeping and Accountancy, until June 2010 when I joined your beautiful Synagogue,The New West End.some of the Ashkenazi way.Please do not hesitate to contact me, withany queries that you may have, I am hereto help.I am very much looking forward to a mutualbeneficial working relationship in thisbeautiful Synagogue and Community.I would like to take this opportunity to wishyou all a Shana Tova and Chatima Tovah.As you might gather from where I was born that my origins are Sephardi, but I am learningMesod WahnonDuring the past year(from February to August2010) the roof of oursynagogue has undergoneextensive remedial works.“New clay decorative ridge tiling to high level roof”CANCERDOESN’T CAREComprising the replacement of the asphaltof the north and south aisle roofs with Welshslates as original, replacing/overhauling thecast iron rainwater goods, and the renewalof the main ridge.The photographs show some of the detailsof the works which were carried out by thefirm of Tanner & Hall with Barker Associatesacting as surveyors. Special thanks are dueto our members Mr. Harvey Katz and Mr.Michael Sharron who generously offeredtheir time and expertise to organise andoverview the entire project.The total project costs will amount toabout £205,000 excluding VAT (which willbe reclaimed). About half of this amountis provided through an English Heritagegrant; the other half is being funded by ourRoof Appeal and a loan from the UnitedSynagogue.The Roof Appeal has up to date (earlyAugust) generated nearly £20,000 withcontributions from about 140 members(out of about 350 members) of thecommunity. I believe we can regard this asvery encouraging and gratifying and we doof course hope that when the Appeal closes,the names of ALL members will be enteredinto the special scroll which a Sofer will beasked to write.In the past, the maintenance of our beautifulsynagogue was strongly supported bysubstantial donations from a few membersand by charitable funds with long historicties to the New West End Synagogue. Astime moves on, we have to find new sourcesfor the costs of maintenance. Most of theworks which we will need to carry out inthe coming years will not be eligible for anEnglish Heritage grant and our loan facilityat the United Synagogue is now used up.Although the loan has helped us to spreadthe financing over several years, at the endof the day we, the community, carry thecosts for the maintenance of our beautifulsynagogue.No doubt, we can do it. In this spirit, I takepleasure in wishing Rabbi and RebbetzenShisler and all members, friends, employees,or those otherwise involved with the NWES ahealthy, happy, sweet, and - yes - prosperousNew Year.Emebet & Leon APFEL•wish Rabbi and Mrs.Shisler, the HonoraryOfficers and allcongregants a happyand healthy New YearChai Cancer Care is the Jewish community’scancer support organisation.Chai Cancer Care is the Jewish support services forcancer We provide patients, comprehensive their families and support friends nationally. servicesFor more information or to speak to someone infor cancer patients, their families and friendsconfidence please call our telephone helpline on 0800808 nationally. 4567 or visit For our more website information www.chicancer.org.to speakto someone in confidence please call ourtelephone helpline on 0808 808 4567 or visitour website at www.chaicancercare.org.Chai Lifeline Cancer Care Registered Charity No. 1078956Chai Lifeline Cancer CareRegistered Charity No. 107895626 27


Mosaic250 Years of theBoard of DeputiesBy Raphael LanghamOn 19 November 1760, a committeeestablished by the leaders of the BevisMarks synagogue in London met toprepare and issue a loyal address toKing George III, who had just ascendedthe throne.Another was its concern in the affairs of Jews in foreign countries,particularly when they faced crises. From its very early days theBoard insisted that it was the sole representative body of theJews in Britain and confirmed this in its first constitution in1835, but this self-proclaimed monopoly did not always receivecomplete acceptance within the Jewish community. Finally, asin the days following its first meeting, there were arguments,disputes and controversies between different members, groupsand factions both within the Board and between the Board andindividuals or groups outside the Board.Indeed, on at least one occasion a plenary Board meetingbecame the arena for two sides to a dispute to harangue eachother, and on a matter not involving the Board. When I cameacross all these disputes during my research, I considered callingthe book 250 Years of Machloikes and B’roigus.There was nothing unusual in this, in that on the accessionsof George I in 1714 and George II in 1727 similar addresses hadbeen presented by the Sephardi community (or Portuguese nationas they then referred to themselves). What was unusual was thereaction of the Ashkenazi community.They had not commented on the previous loyal addresses thathad also omitted them, but this time they appear to have beenfurious. Indeed the senior warden of the Great Synagogue wentto Bevis Marks to lodge a formal complaint. In due course peacewas restored and this Bevis Marks committee evolved into what weknow today as the Board of Deputies, the representative body ofJews in Britain.The Board is now celebrating its 250th anniversary and as part ofthese commemorations I have written a book entitled 250 Years ofConvention and Contention: A History of the Board of Deputiesof British Jews, 1760-2010.* The early years of the Board includedthe first occasions for what proved to be some of its most enduringfeatures. Most important was its protection of religious observancefor British Jews, as well as combating antisemitism and securingcivil rights.The book relates not only the history of the Board, but also describes the issues and events thatinvolved the Board in both Britain and overseas. In the book you can read:Why it took more than 45years from its foundation in1841 for the West London ReformSynagogue to be admittedto the Board of Deputies.Why the Jews of Manchesterwere restless with the Boardin 1847.How, in 1852, the President ofthe Board tried unsuccessfullyto place the religious instructionin Jewish schools under thecontrol of the Chief Rabbi.Success in Damascus in 1840,but failure in Rome in 1859.Why the Board bought amanuscript of a book by SirRichard Burton in 1909, decidedto suppress it, and put it on salenearly 100 years later.Why the President of the Boardwas censured in 1917 for beingan anti-Zionist and why thePresident of the Board was notcensured in 1956 for voting inParliament against the Britishaction at Suez.The book concludes by looking back over the last 250 years thus enabling the readerto answer for himself the question ‘Has the Board been good for the Jews?’. RaphaelLangham is a Vice-President of the Jewish Historical Society of England,and an Actuary byprofession. Following retirement, he joined the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Departmentof University College London where he obtained a first class degree in Jewish History. In2005 he had a book published entitled The Jews in Britain: A Chronology.Why the deputies from theprogressive synagogueswalked out of the Board in1949, and why the deputiesfrom the strictly orthodoxcongregations walked outof the Board in 1971.The current issues facingthe Board, which mightprove of significance tofuture historians.*The book is published by Vallentine Mitchellat a price of £35, but while stocks last is availableat £25 including packaging and postage(for U.K. orders) from the Board of Deputies,6 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2LP,T: 020 7543 5400,E: info@bod.org.ukW: www.bod.org.uk.Please make your cheques payable to:“The Board of Deputies”.28 29


MosaicReady, Steady...DAVEN!Jeremy LawsonThe Shofar - an historic Rams horn instrument predatingthe bible.The Machzor is a tantalizing compilation of movingtheatrical drama and poetry, of historical readingsand teachings.Before attending a symphony concert, aplay or even an opera that I have not heardfor a while, I tend to listen to a recordingto acclimatise myself for what I amabout to hear and experience.It is my way of preparing forthe event. And so I ask,are you ready for theHigh Holy Days?music of the season, and the special prayers and their musicalsettings invite your participation, your thoughtful ear and heart.The music of the Torah reading, the unique and optimistic nusachhat’filah — the familiar modal/musical settings of the prayers sunga capella or with choral and congregational accompaniment, theuse of an historic instrument -- the shofar -- all help us achieve aholy convocation.Music has been an appreciated staple of our services at TheNew West End Synagogue since its inception and I strive tocommunicate the majesty, theatre and passion of the holy textsin the most expressive and beautiful way possible. Our goal isto make the High Holyday services meaningful, provocative anduplifting – intellectually, musically and spiritually.“When we singcongregational melodiesthat are familiar toyou, please join with usopenly and robustly, inkey, off key — just sing!”It has been written that the music of the HighHolydays “sings all year long.” May our worshipthis Yamim Norayim elevate and sanctify our livesthroughout the year ahead.I wish all of our extended congregational family aShanah Tovah, a good year of health, blessing andpeace. May we be judged mercifully by G-d andtogether be sealed in the Book of Life.Shanah Tovah um’tukah ug’mar Chatimah Tovah -A good and sweet New Year!As summer wanes, it is time toready ourselves for this emotional,theatrical and spiritual time in ourcalendar. We will be together inshul longer and more often thanperhaps we are all year long. Andthis takes practice and preparation.Our High Holyday Machzor is atantalizing compilation of movingtheatrical drama and poetry, of historicalreadings and teachings. It is a book ofmetaphor and mystery. The Machzor expressesraw human emotions and feelings which duringour services speak to us through music. To set a moodof reflection and inspiration, the music of the HighHolydays paints in sound the central themes and moodsof each prayer - like a musical drama or opera.The word for prayer in Hebrew is “l’hitpalel—to judgeyourself.” This lofty challenge is accepted with uniqueYou are invited to help us transport you from the physical realm tothe spiritual with the vehicle of the music in two ways.Firstly, when we sing congregational melodies that are familiarto you, please join with us openly and robustly, in key, off key— just sing! No one is judging. We want you to become an activeparticipant. The congregational tunes are sung in an accessible keyand pace that should enable everyone to join in. Don’t be shy!There are prayers whose music commands reflective listening,like in the larger choral works which sound like sacred miniconcerts;congregational melodies beckon your responses anddialogue with the Chazan and choir, whilst at other times thereare passages intoned quietly invoking moments of silentintrospection and contemplation.A second way to fully participate is to refer frequently to theHebrew text or English translations. You might then see and hearhow a composer captures the tension, poetry, theatre and dramaof the text. The more you understand the mood of the prayer themore relevant the music becomes.When we sing “El Melech Yoshev”, the composition we use ishauntingly beautiful, sung in part by a boy soprano, followed bythe elevating sound of the community at one in song resonatingthroughout our the stunning setting of our beautiful surroundings;whilst “Zacharti Lach” and “Haben Yakir Li” resonate compassionand tenderness. Look at the words of “Hin’ni” and discover whyit is so personal, soulful and pleading. Why are “Unetaneh Tokef”and “Uvashofar Gadol” so dramatic and theatrical? “Sh’ma Kolenu”begins as a soft supplication, interwoven with the powerfulinvocation of the choir and congregation in response, and thendiminishes once more.Even our Shofar, an ancient and historical musical instrument callsus, disturbs us and pierces our ears and souls. Yet our shofar, too,brings joy and delight.With a bit of preparation and participation, the music of this holyseason will really come alive and speak on a deeper level. As acommunity we will together attempt, yet again, to create a moodunique to this season of the year.30 31


MosaicDarwin & Davening:The Voice of CreationDr Raphael ZarumOn Pesach we relive the Exodus, onShavuot the Revelation at Sinai andsimilarly every one of our festivals recalla key moment in Jewish history, that is,except one. Rosh HaShanah is specialbecause it recalls the beginning of allhuman history for it is the anniversary ofthe creation of Adam.Rosh HaShanah even has implicationsbeyond the human species. God had begunthat day in Eden with the formation ofthe animal kingdom, and when they wereparaded before Adam he gave a name toeach one (Genesis 2:20). According to therabbis he also named himself and evenGod. He chose the name Adam, ‘becauseI was created from the ground (adamah)’and Adonai, ‘since You are Lord (adon) overall your creatures’ (Genesis Rabbah 17:4).This story is teaching us something aboutthe role of humanity. We name, classify andmake sense of every aspect of our world;we are the consciousness of creation.The animals and humanity, formed on thesame day of creation, are intimately linked.According to midrash, Adam had bothlower animal and higher divine traits inequal measure (Genesis Rabbah 14:3). InThe Emergence of Ethical Man R. JosephSoloveitchik places evolution in a Jewishcontext and insists that “Judaism does notaccent unreservedly the theory of man’sisolationism and separatism within thenatural order of things”.We are the culmination of creation – thatis what is celebrated on Rosh haShanah.Which brings us to Charles Darwin...In the concluding chapter of Origin ofthe Species he argues “that it is just asnoble a conception of God to believe thatHe created a few original forms capableof self-development into other forms, as tobelieve that [for every one of the billions ofspecies on our planet] he required a freshact of creation”. It is clear that Darwin didnot want to challenge religious faith. Heactually made an effort to explain that thetheory of evolution pointed to a nobler andthus greater conception of God.Without getting into the details ofevolution, I think it is the random process atthe heart of the theory that makes peoplethink that it is anti-religious. How canhumanity be the pinnacle of the creationstory and at the same time have evolved bychance over millions of years? And yet weall witness daily the randomness of naturalphenomena as well as the unpredictabilityof human history. Only when we look backdo we see a pattern. Only in hindsightdo we recognise the ‘hand of God’. Therabbis recognised the paradox betweenfree choice and divine predetermination.In Darwin’s words, “it is like a dog trying tocomprehend the mind of Newton.”Randomness is also central to the HighHoly Days prayers. In Unetanah Tokef wesing, “On Rosh HaShannah it is writtenand on Yom Kippur it is sealed... who willlive who will die... who by water, who byfire...” We are humbled as we recognisethe element of chance in Nature. Darwinwrote surprisingly similar words aboutnatural selection, “A grain in the balancewill determine which individual shall liveand which will die, which variety or speciesshall increase in number and which shalldecrease, or finally become extinct...”. Sochance is not ungodly, on the contrary, itis what God does daily, “The lot is cast intothe lap; and the decision is all from God.”(Proverbs 16:33)The Unetanah Tokef ends with adescription of the fragility of life. It is like,“withering grass, a fading flower, a passingshade, a dispersing cloud, a blowing wind,flying dust, and a fleeting dream.” ReadingDarwin’s Origin of the Species taught to methe biological truth of these poetic words ina profound way. It intensified my faith in ourCreator and gave me a deeper sense of aweof God. It might help your RoshHaShanah too...Dr Raphael Zarum is the ChiefExecutive and Head of Faculty at theLondon School of Jewish Studies. Hegives a Jewish tour of the NaturalHistory Museum. Learn more at32 33www.lsjs.ac.uk


MosaicIt’s aDog’sLifeJohn HarrisA few months agomy dog ate mygrandparents’ Ketubah.www.jerise.comwww.wanderjew.comHe doesn’t usually chew anything. It musthave been the small of the parchment –Freddy couldn’t resist it.Don’t laugh! It was my fault really. I wasclearing up at the time and had left a pileof papers on the floor with the Ketubah onthe top. Any food dropped on the floor isFreddy’s domain - he acts like a Hoover.Normally this is useful but on this occasionit was disastrous. In addition to the fact thatthe Ketubah was one of the few personalitems I treasured - it was like losing part of myheritage - was its unique calligraphic style.As an artist and a designer I have alwaysadmired the creative skill of the sofer. Theguilloche treatment on my grandparents’Ketubah was superb and individual andcannot be replaced. Even a photocopy ofthe original could not do it justice as thetactile quality and the way the ink varied inconsistency and bled into the parchmentwas beautiful to the eye.Today many people have creatively designedKetubot which more often than not, areprinted – mass produced with many colourfuldecorative elements and illustrations. Onthe other hand Sifrei Torah have remainedthe same world wide. They are createdcompletely by hand. The only decoratedelements are the tagim – the little crownshapes above some of the letters. Thereare no illustrations; I presume this wouldmake them individual and competitive. Theamazing thing is that you can travel to anypart of the world and read from the Torah– except for a handful – the scrolls will beexactly the same wherever you go andwhatever year it was produced. The Soferwill even use the same recipe for the ink.Hebrew calligraphy is unique. It has tobe done by hand with a feather pen or areed pen to achieve the thicks and thinsof the strokes and the almost watercolourimpression of its characters. It cannot beeffective by ball point pen or any similarmedium. Even a printed Hebrew typefacecannot do it justice. It deserves to be createdby hand. It has to be written on parchment.Can you imagine a printed Sefer Torah,however thick the paper is?The Sefer Torah is the focal point ofthe service. The justified (width of line)measurement of wording is carefullyprotected by strict hallachic ruling as wellas content, style, nib width, line spacing andthe way it is read and chanted and althoughthe size and length of some of the charactersmight vary, everything else is strictly adheredto. Also there are no vowels or punctuationmarks. This makes it more difficult for thebaal keriah to read but aesthetically pleasingby its visual simplicity.The Sefer Torah’s contents are holy; so holythat you cannot touch the parchment thatthey are written on. The words are alive– they almost breathe and the contents arediscussed more than any other document,yet the way in which they are reproducedis visually so simple in contrast to the lavishway in which they are protected because inits contrast, the ark where they are housed issplendid in appearance. So too is the scroll’scovering usually in velvet with silver andgold embroidery covered by a decorativebreastplate which hangs on a chain, with theyad – the pointer - hanging in a special wayand with the wooden scroll handles usuallyembellished on silver sheaths and oftensmall bells attached.Scribing calligraphy by hand is not an easyprocess and good Soferim are becomingmore and more difficult to find. There canbe no mistakes or crossings out and writingis extremely time-consuming. Althougha woman is not allowed to become aprofessional Sofer - specifically as a scribe forSifrei Torah, Tefilin and Mezuzot - it shouldnot stop her or you from practicing the art ofcalligraphy by producing other items – fromKetubot to greeting cards, from prayers tofamous quotes...as long as the dog isn’t around.34 35


MosaicSome thoughts onThe New West EndBy Noach miTelshestone36Climb the few steps, enterthrough the imposing largefront doors, and turn toyour right. In the far cornerpush open the door andstruggle your way throughthe heavy red velvet curtain.Right again, up the two steps and walkbehind the seats to the next block. In theback row, locate seat number 382. Is this theright number? Is this memory dating back to1944 reliable? Mr Roth, the Shamash, wouldhave not hesitated. Equipped with his everpresent key holding wallet, he could producethe key to unlock the “box” of any member,nimbly and without even looking down.Can anyone fail to hear in their mind’seye the high notes reached by Greta, hisdaughter, in her solo performance in thechoir? Mark you, I vaguely recall she washidden from sound and vision on theextremely rare visits made by theincumbent Chief Rabbi.Mr Roth performed de rigueur the dutiesof The Beadle. Decked out in his long blackrobes and silk top hat, he answered thehidden button concealed under an armof the seat of the “Warden” which clickeddemandingly in the small box situated infront of the seat which Mr Roth occupiedon those rare moments when he sat down.At Succot he toured the entire Shul loaningthe Arba Minim to those interested in usingthem, waiting until the gift was returned tohis safekeeping. On Simchat Torah he tookthe invitations proffered by The Warden tothose honoured with the privilege of carryinga Sefer Torah for one of the seven circuitsafter which is was ceremoniously handed tothe next “invitee.” It was quite a shock to mysystem when I discovered the “real” versionof the Hakafot.In the background was Beadle number two,the quiet, pleasant Mr Phillips. I am quitesure that my contemporaries will rememberthose faces of the past….Willy Goldsteinin the front corner seat with his pince-nezperfectly aligned. Across the aisle sat “TheJacobs brothers” of Times Furnishing fame,Simon R. with his half glasses always inplace. Behind them sat Yisroel Fredmanand I frequently sat next to him on Shabbatmorning. He encouraged me to say theHaftarah when I was about ten or elevenyears of age! Michael Lyons sitting in “thebox” and later Frank Levine and FrankRossdale. I could not forget Isaac Kaskathe Secretary always on the bimah andprompting the gabbai with the call up list forYahrzeit etc!Finally, we reach “The Minister’s” seat.Memories of The Reverend “Ephie” Levineand his sixteen minute reading of MegilatEsther to a totally silent congregation werenothing short of amazing! His weeklyrendering of “Hee-who” for the Monarchof the Realm remains with me to this day.His promise to those around his seat wholistened attentively to the words of hissermon, to include the name of the winnerof the 2.30 at the afternoon race meetingwas a legend! His gaiters and dog collar andhis swift repartee and sense of humour sethim apart from one’s perceived vision of aSynagogue Minster.Reverend Chaim Pearl, with whom I wentto Denmark on a JYSG summer schoolin 1950 came from Birmingham. He diedin Jerusalem in December 1995. RabbiDr Louis Jacobs with whom I learnt myfirst Gemarah, Mesechet Pesachim usedto send a hand written letter on a BarMitzvah anniversary with a “mazal tov”and an invitation to an aliyah on theShabbat anniversary. I treasured that actof thoughtful chesed and I have tried toemulate his example in small ways duringmy life. I still recall the words Rabbi Jacobsbrought to comfort my family at my father’sfuneral when he quoted from Psalm 24– “Who may ascend the mountain of theLord? Who may stand in His holy place?- he who has clean hands and a pure heartwho has not taken a false oath by My life orsworn deceitfully.” He was the last personto speak words of comfort to my late sisterbefore she died.Rabbi S B Leperer was my first Chumashteacher in the Sunday morning chederwith his speciality of “bicycle rides” to keepthe attention of the class. The ReverendIsaac Goldstone was Headmaster of thecheder when I started there in 1944. I recallenthusiasm and a soft smile and warmthwhilst he taught.The beloved Reverend Raphael H. Levyand his wife, Celia, were great friends tomy family. I recall on one visit to our homewhen I told him of my interest in Gilbertand Sullivan he sang some with me. TheReverend Raphael H Levy was at the side ofme at my Bar Mitzvah. He recommendedthat I went to the Faculty for the Trainingof Teachers at Jews College in WoburnHouse after my Bar Mitzvah and also spokeand conducted both the burial service andstone setting for my father, my mother, andmy sister. He also travelled to Leicester toofficiate at my wedding. His singing on theHigh Holy Days, especially for the Kedushastill ring loud and clear in my ears when Iclose my eyes each year and yearn for them.The “big event” on Kol Nidrei was thepompous entry of Lord Herbert Samuelin full dinner dress, no less! He sat a fewrows in front of my father’s seat. During thesermon, he listened with a hand set earphone which was built into the back of theseat in front of him. It always puzzled mehow clockwork mechanism could enhancethe sound waves delivered at the pulpitand to this day, I have not worked out thetechnology of the apparatus. He gracedthe congregation with his presence againfor the closing service of the day but I donot recall he visited the NWE for anyother service.My mother sat in the front row betweenthe second and third pillar from theleft and I was able to see her from thefront row where I used to sit on the leftalmost opposite the steps leading upto the bimah. I usually sat next to ElkanLevy, the Chazan’s son and Ivor Roth, theshamash’s son. My mother used to hold‘Later he wasa popular writerin a nationalnewspaper.He was namedMichael Winner.’her hands over the front of the railingwith fingers showing indicating to me thepage number in the Singers Prayer Book!In contrast, I discovered two things whichseemed peculiar to the NWE and whichhave never been clearly explained to me.Each Shabbat morning we arrived by 10.15am in adequate time to hear the choirsinging “Ma Tovu.” I cannot recall at whatage I discovered that there was part of theShacharit service called Pesukei d’zimra!The second amazing revelation was thatthe format for Musaf, colloquially known asa “heicha Kedushah” (a shortened form ofRepetition of Musaf) was not the normalway of Tefilla.I wonder if the socially obligatory bowlerhat still exists and whether the dignifiedbowing towards the warden’s box followingan aliyah is still part of the unwrittenconstitution! Is the wonderful and greatlymissed minhag of Blessing the New Moonrendered to the tune of any forthcomingFestival in the month being announcedmaintained? I have never discovered anyother Minyan anywhere that followed thattradition. To the Americans it is simplymind boggling! I have met a South Africanfamiliar with the minhag but maybe thatstems from the jurisdiction of the BritishEmpire and the Chief Rabbi!More than sixty years ago, I became a BarMitzvah on Parshat Shemini, 24th Nisan5709, 9th day of the Omer, alongside twoother boys. One became world famous asa film producer. Later he was a popularwriter in a national newspaper. He wasnamed Michael Winner. I cannot recallthe name of the third boy. The ReverendEphraim Levine addressed all of us from thepulpit. Today, however, I cannot recall oneword of what he said!Shortly after becoming a Bar Mitzvah, I“revolted” against using the Singer’s PrayerBook and its very old fashioned English andnon-Jewish printer. My mother was aghastand confronted the Reverend Levy overthis act of rebellion, followed later when Ipersuaded her, with great fortitude, not toencumber my children with such a burden.As I write, I have before me a copy of“The Authorised Daily Prayer Book of theUnited Hebrew Congregations of the BritishEmpire – Revised Edition with commentaryby The Chief Rabbi Dr J H Hertz publishedby Shapiro Valentine & Co., London 5707-1947.” The book plate announces that it wasthe “New West End Synagogue Hebrew &Religion Classes Isaac Goldstone MemorialPrize awarded for Synagogue AttendanceChanukah 1949.” It bears the signature“Raphael H Levy – Headmaster.” It smellsmusty and shows signs of usage but I cannotrecall the last time I opened it!“Somewhere amongst the hidden treasurespacked away are two silver cups – The RuskinCup” awarded for what I cannot now recall,to both my late sister – one of the first ladieselected to the NWE Board of Managementwhen that revolutionary and epoch makingtradition breaking event happened – andto me. Perhaps I should find them andsend them for recycling to the presentHeadmaster of the Synagogue cheder.37


MosaicYom TovGuideRosh HashanahWednesday night, 8 th SeptemberLight the Yom Tov candles before 7.17pmand recite the following two blessings:“Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melechha’olam, asher kiddshanoo b’mitzvotavv’tzivanu l’hadlik neir shel Yom Tov.”“Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melechha’olam she’hecheyanoo, vekiyemanoo,vehigianoo lazman hazeh.”Prior to lighting the candles, it is importantto light a twenty-five hour candle e.g. aYahrzeit candle, so that one can transfer theflame from the twenty-five hour candle toa new candle in order to light the Yom Tovcandles on the second night of Yom TovServices in the Synagogue commence at7.15pmFollowing services, and your return home,make Yom Tov Kiddush, then wash handsritually and make the blessing over thechallah. The challot for Rosh Hashanah aretraditionally round and represent continuityand wholeness. After eating some challah,dipped in honey, we take an apple and dipa piece in honey and say the following priorto eating it:“Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melechha’olam, Borei Peri Haeitz”After eating it recite the following:“Yehi ratzon milfanecha Adonye Eloheinooveilohei avoteinoo, she’techadesh aleinooShana Tova oometooko” “May it be yourwill O Lord our Gd and Gd of our forefathersthat this year will be a happy and sweetyear for us.”Thursday 9th SeptemberShacharit services begin at 8.00amIt is important for every man, woman andchild to hear the blowing of the Shofarwhich commences at approximately10.00am It is important to hear theblessings recited by the Ba’al Tekiah (theone who actually blows), and to answer“Amein” to each of the three blessings.Then, during the course of the morning,we are obliged to hear one hundredblasts of the Shofar.It is forbidden to talk from the time onehears the first note of the 100, right upuntil the last one.In the afternoon of the first day of RoshHashanah, we will return to the Synagogueat 4.45pm to walk together towards theSerpentine for the traditional TashlichService at 5.15 pm at the Peter Pan Statue.This is performed by reciting severalprayers at a source of water. Afterwards,the pockets are symbolically emptied asif a person is shaking off his sins andcasting them into the water. As a sourcefor this ceremony the verses in Michah areoften quoted:“He will again have compassion upon us;He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou willcast all our sins into the depth of the sea ....”We then return to the Synagogue for Minchaand Ma’ariv at 7.00pmThursday night 9th SeptemberWe usher in the second day of RoshHashanah by lighting the Yom Tov candlesas soon as possible after 8.17pm. We do thisby transferring the flame from the existingflame which was lit before the first nightRosh Hashanah began (see above) andthen reciting the two blessings. Since thereis a doubt about whether we should recitethe She’hecheyanu Beracha on the secondnight, it is traditional to have on the tablea new fruit that one has not eaten yet thatyear, while one makes the blessings overthe candles. Alternatively one can weara new item of clothing. However, if onedoes not have a new fruit or a new itemof clothing, one still makes both blessingsincluding “She’hecheyanu”.Friday 10th SeptemberThis year, the Shacharit Service on thesecond day of Rosh Hashana will be anexplanatory one and will begin at 8.00am.Rabbi Shisler will explain the various partsof the Service, what we are saying and whywe say them. This will give us a deeperunderstanding to our prayers, and willensure that the prayers read that day arenot just a repetition of those read on thefirst day.Shabbat commences and candles should belit by 7.12pmMincha and Kabbalat Shabbat will be readat 7.00pmSHABBAT SHUVASaturday 11th OctoberShacharit will be at 9.15 am and will befollowed by Rabbi Shisler’s Shabbat ShuvaLilmodMincha and Ma’ariv at 7.00pmShabbat ends at 8.12pmTHE FAST OF GEDALIAHSunday 12th SeptemberThe day after Rosh Hashanah is observedas a fast day, in memory of Gedaliah benAchikam. This year it is observed twodays after Rosh Hashanah. Gedaliah hadbeen appointed Governor of Judea byNebuchadnezzar, after the destruction ofthe first Temple in 586 BCE. He had beencharged with the responsibility of rebuildingJewish life among the remnant of the Jewsstill in the Holy Land.As a result of internal strife among thepeople, Gedaliah was assassinated and,many of those Jews who had remained inJudea, fled to Egypt. Since this representedthe final stage of the destruction ofJerusalem, it is observed as a fast day, whenwe recite special Selichot prayers.Shacharit will be at 8.30am and the Fast endsat 8.04pm40 41YOM KIPPURFriday 17th SeptemberMinchaOn Erev Yom Kippur, Friday 17th September,at 1.30pm in the Synagogue, we will conductthe pre-Yom Kippur Mincha (afternoon)service, which includes the first of theten times that we recite “Al-cheit” prayer(confession) throughout the day.A festival meal on Erev Yom Kippur is amitzvah (obligation) because one therebyreveals joy over the approach of his or hertime of forgiveness. This meal is called the“seudat hamafseket” (meal of cessation).There is no Kiddush prior to this meal, butwe do wash our hands ritually, make the“Hamotzi” (usually over a Challah) andsay Grace after Meals. The meal should beconcluded well before 6.56pm, allowingenough time to light candles and to get tothe Synagogue in time.The following Berachot are said over thecandles:“Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melechha’olam, asher kiddshanoo b’mitzvotavv’tzivanu l’hadlik neir shel Shabbat v’YomHaKippoorim.”“Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melechha’olam she’hecheyanoo, vekiyemanoo,vehigianoo lazman hazeh.”Wearing Non-leather ShoesIt is forbidden for men, women and childrento wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur.Kol NidreiServices in the Synagogue commence at7.15pmThe Yom Kippur prayers begin withthe chanting of Kol Nidrei. We have tocommence before sunset since this prayer isa form of the repealing of vows, and we arenot permitted to repeal vows on Shabbat orYom Tov.Shabbat 18th SeptemberShacharit commences at 9.30amYizkor on Yom Kippur Day will be atapproximately 1.15pmIf one’s parents are still alive, it is permissible,but not essential, to leave the Synagogueduring Yizkor. However, it is our custom thatwe commence with a public Yizkor, whichincludes Memorial Prayers for the victims ofthe Holocaust and for Israel’s fallen soldiers,for which everyone should remain in theSynagogue. There will then be a short breakto allow those who wish to leave to go outbefore we commence the private Yizkor.Before Mincha, at approximately 5.00pm,we will be having an “Ask the Rabbi” session.If any questions occur to you over RoshHashana and Yom Kippur, please feel free toask, and Rabbi Shisler will be only too happyto try and provide you with an answer.The Fast ends at 7.55pm.SUCCOTThe Building of the SuccahIf you haven’t built a Succah before andintend to do so this year, the Rabbi will bevery happy to advise on the requirements toensure that it is Kasher.It is a Mitzvah to decorate the Succah. Ifyou are able to assist with the Shul’s Succah,please contact the Synagogue office fordetails of when it will be done. Also pleaselet us know if you are able to donate laurelbranches, fruit etc.Dwelling in the SuccahIt is a great Mitzvah to eat in the Succah.The congregation is invited to join us for afestive dinner in our Shul Succah followingservices on Wednesday evening 22ndSeptember. Please make reservations at theSynagogue office on 020 7229 2631.Kindling of the LightsLights are kindled on the first Yom Tov nightin the Succah (if you have one - or elseindoors) and two Berachot are said:“Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melechha’olam, asher kiddshanoo b’mitzvotavv’tzivanu l’hadlik neir shel Shabbatv’Yom Tov.”“Barooch atah Adonye Eloheinoo melechha’olam she’hecheyanoo, vekiyemanoo,vehigianoo lazman hazeh.”Note that the same requirements regardingthe 25 hour candle apply as they did forRosh Hashanah.Four Species - The LulavThe four species are taken hold of each ofthe seven festival days (except Shabbat)and a Berachah is said over them daily.Anyone who wishes to have a set of lulavand etrog, please contact our ShammashEli Ballon in the Shul Office. Even if you donot have your own Lulav and Etrog therewill be several sets in the Synagogue foryour use.SIMCHAT TORAHPlease note that our annual SimchatTorah party will take place this year onThursday 30th September following theevening service which commences at7.30pm. Please bring your children bothon the Thursday night and Friday morningfor Hakafot - there will also be a specialKiddush after the service on the Fridaymorning. This year’s Chatan Torah will bechorister Stanley Warren, and the ChatanBereshit will be Jeff Margolis. We wishthem both a hearty Mazal Tov.


MosaicSharingresponsibilityAbove all, the purposeof CST, the CommunitySecurity Trust, is to ensurethat any member of ourcommunity is able tolead the Jewish life thatthey choose. CST is partof our community, so itcan only succeed if ourcommunity takes its shareof responsibility.Sharing responsibility means a whole rangeof things. It means contacting your localCST and asking what role you can playwith our local security teams. It meansunderstanding why we do security andco-operating with our local teams.Sharing responsibility also means keepinga sense of perspective about where thingsstand. Antisemitism should not define ourlives as British Jews, not now and not ever.Today, our community is largely able toexpress its Jewishness in whatever wayit wishes. That can be religious, cultural,political, charitable, sporting or whateversort of Jewish life you do, or do not, wishto have. Our community is, on the whole,successful and well integrated into the restof society. We have come a very long wayindeed since the newly arrived immigrantgenerations of the late 19th and early20th centuries.However, we often see rises in antisemiticincident levels when Jews or Israel are inthe news. These are mainly directed againstthe most vulnerable and visible parts of ourcommunity, whether it is people, propertyor community groups.In recent years, the threat of terrorismis something that all of our society hascome to understand and find a way ofliving with. The fact that these terroristshave also targeted Jews is what underpinsall of CST’s work.We sincerely hope that CST’s efforts helpour community to feel confident thatsomeone is standing up in defence ofits rights. We take responsibility for thephysical security of the community; andprovide a professional and confidentialreporting service for the minority ofpeople who are unfortunate to sufferantisemitic hatred.It is not CST’s wish to tell individuals howthey should feel about the situation. Howyou react to all of this is up to you. Somepeople regard it as unimportant, but othersfeel real fear and are deeply concerned fortheir own, or for their children’s, wellbeing.Because of our work with the victimsof antisemitic crime, CST regards its workas being about people’s physical andemotional well-being, not about statistics.It is the human aspect that makes us allthe more determined to work againstantisemitism; and against the fear thatantisemitism causes.We want to deter those who wish toharm our community, and we work withpoliticians, police and others in ensuringthat our community’s concerns areunderstood, heard and acted upon.CST, however, can only be as strongas the community that we serve. We relyupon the community for our volunteerpersonnel and for co-operation withour work: whether that is in schools,synagogues, community events and rallies,or wherever.In total, we secure over 1,000 events eachand every year, across the community.In the last two years we have installedsecurity upgrades at hundreds of communalbuildings, including shatter-proofing forwindows. We do not charge the communityfor our services and rely upon charitabledonations for our running costs.All of this relies upon partnershipbetween CST and our Jewishcommunity. We want you to join usin that partnership.42 43


Special guest recipes from cookery writersDenise Phillips, the Jewish Princess andSilvia Nacamulli, recipes from the kitchensof caterers Tony Page and Steven Wolfisz 44

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