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KLS-Annual Report-17-18-ONLINE

Kingston Liberal Synagogue - Annual Report 2017 A review of our 50th anniversary year

Worship Worship A

Worship Worship A community that explores the meaning of their Jewishness in a creative and open way. We have something to say to those in search of a spirituality that is not opposed to the modern world, that is not based on guilt and coercion, and that is open to endless exploration. Services Before Rabbi René’s appointment, Hannah Kingston led some wonderfully creative and inspiring services and her stint as our student rabbi was extended to June although she returned at the end of July after her ordination to lead a service with a baby blessing. Hannah also led the main service on our anniversary weekend. The sanctuary was packed with over 160 members and visitors including quite a few former members who moved away from the area, local faith leaders, Surrey’s Lord Lieutenant and its Police and Crime Commissioner, rabbis and members of other congregations , two mayors and an MP. Rabbi René led most of KLS’s services since his appointment took effect in August. Members have praised his warmth, great singing voice, thoughtful and informative sermons, and the inclusiveness of his services. His induction service on 14 October was a wonderful occasion. It attracted a large congregation including many visitors – leaders from other faiths, from schools which take part in our Holocaust Memorial 10 – KLS Annual Report 2017

Day activities, Kingston University’s faith adviser, the Chairman of the European Union for Progressive Judaism, rabbis and members of other congregations, two mayors and an MP (all different from those who attended the anniversary service earlier in the year). KLS’s Rabbi Emeritus, Danny Rich, gave the address at both the main anniversary service and Rabbi René’s induction service. We are also grateful for the continued commitment of a dedicated team of voluntary service leaders who between them filled another 38 slots in the service diary: Vince Daly; Rabbi Janet Darley; Jill and Norman Hyman; Seymour Kelly; Dominique Scholtes; Craig Simmons; and Sandra Webber. In addition we need to thank all those who help behind the scenes in areas such as preparing Kiddush, locking up the synagogue, organising High Holyday readers (in particular Hilary Cohen) and staffing the High Holyday front desk (Elsa Acton-Bond). Chavurah Suppers Our chavurah suppers continued on the first Friday of each month. These comprise a short service with a bit of singing, a little discussion, then a chance to chatter over a selection of food dishes, which the attendees bring to share. Sandra Webber’s homebaked challah is sumptuous and the quality of the accompanying food continues to improve to the extent that the possibility of compiling a KLS chavurah recipe book has been suggested. We are very grateful to Rabbi Janet Darley and Vince Daly who led the chavurah suppers before Rabbi René’s appointment. Shabbat Island Discs This popular service continued on the 4th Friday of most months. Based on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs, the service has no sermon but instead features a ‘guest’ interview (often a KLS member) and pieces of music chosen by the guest which have been meaningful in their life. This is a wonderful way to get to know our fellow congregants. Guests in 2017 included Rabbi Miri Lawrence who talked about her research for a PhD examining Judaism in the suburban home and what changed when Jews moved from the East End into the suburbs after World War 2. Dr Chloe Alaghband-Zadeh, Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, gave us an unusual selection of Indian classical music in which she specialises as an ethnomusicologist. Rabbis Hannah Kingston (then a student) and René Pfertzel told us what brought them to the rabbinate. We are grateful to them and to our other guests on Shabbat Island in 2017: Sandra Levene, Bess Joffe and our new administrator Diane Snapper. Thanks also to Sandra Webber for arranging and interviewing the guests and to Craig Simmons who did it a couple of times in her absence. Worship Shabbat @Home On usually the second Friday of each month, the Shabbat evening service is hosted by one of our member families. This appeals to members who like a more informal service and there is often an interesting discussion on a topical issue or on the theme of the week’s Torah reading. It also has helped members from different localities within KLS’s wide catchment area to meet each other. In 2017 there were hosts from Ashtead, Epsom, Kingston, Surbiton, Teddington and Thames Ditton. We hope members in many other surrounding areas will host one of these in the future. We are grateful to the following members for welcoming fellow KLS congregants into their home at one of the Shabbat @ Home services in 2017: Sandra and Howard Webber; Mary and Craig Simmons; Nora Zimerman; Linda and Ray Stone; Jill and Norman Hyman; Judith Osorio; Jenny and Nick Osorio; Liz and Seymour Kelly; Andrée Frieze and Shimon Morad; Sandra and Paul Levene and Sandra and Philip Lyons. 11 – KLS Annual Report 2017

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