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KLS-Annual Report-17-18-ONLINE

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

Worship A community 100%

Worship A community 100% Jewish and 100% Liberal in its values stems from a deep understanding of our heritage. Family services Family services continued to take place once at month in term time. These allow a chance for whole families, and the wider KLS family, to pray, discuss the Torah reading and for the Beiteinu students to show off what they have been learning about. Tammy Rich often provides musical accompaniment, making them very lively occasions. High Holyday services The High Holyday services were the first occasion the many faces of KLS got to meet Rabbi René. The atmosphere was serene, meaningful, spiritual, and the choir led by Rebekka Wedell offered some very uplifting pieces. Czech scrolls / Remembrance Day A warm, moving atmosphere filled our Shabbat family service on Remembrance Day, with parallel personal stories of a girl from Tabor and a local soldier from Long Ditton accompanied by music and video presentations so that even our youngest children could understand why we chose to remember them on Poppy Day. For the first time KLS combined annual commemoration of our former Czech scrolls communities with remembrance of all those who fell in the two world wars. The congregation joined the nation in observing the two minute silence and throughout the service children made beautiful symbolic artwork. Festivals Tu b’Shvat was celebrated in February with a seder at the home of Mary and Craig Simmons. The many attendees made it a lovely occasion, bringing fruit and nuts, cups, prayer books, lights, tables, chairs. A busy weekend of 50th anniversary events did not prevent a good attendance at Sunday’s Yom HaShoah service, at which Marcel Ladenheim told his extraordinary story of when he was a small child in Nazi-occupied France. Some excited children built a sukkah with a little help from their parents for Sukkot in October. We organised various events throughout Chanukah – a very-well attended first night celebration at the synagogue, four evening candle-lightings hosted by members at their homes, a Friday night service at the synagogue and a lively interfaith celebration on Saturday afternoon. Communal seder KLS’s first communal seder in 1968, in Tudor Hall, was such a resounding success that it has kept going year after year since then. This year’s seder – the 50th – was no exception and attracted over 70 people. We are grateful to Rabbi Janet Darley for leading it and to Steve Farrer who prepared a buffet with a mouthwatering selection of dishes. Thanks also to everyone who set up, washed up, brought desserts, tidied up, and helped make it a very enjoyable occasion. 12 – KLS Annual Report 2017

Worship Worship Yahrzeits Norman Hyman compiles the Yahrzeit list on a quarterly basis in advance for insertion in the weekly issue of KLS events. Usually, these recall the Yahrzeit on the nearest Shabbat after the relevant date. Yahrzeits of members’ close family are recorded on request. The names are read out towards the end of the service, enabling the member to hear the Yahrzeit mentioned by attending the relevant service. Tree of Life KLS members, affiliates and friends can buy a leaf in memory of anyone deceased, member or not, Jewish or non-Jewish. The leaf, engraved with the deceased’s name, is then placed on our Tree of Life installation in the sanctuary. Part of the cost and any additional donations help to support KLS. Choir The choir, directed by professional musician Rebekka Wedell, meets approximately alternate Tuesdays for singing, tea and cake. The choir is best known for leading the congregation in song throughout the High Holydays, but it also supports the rabbi or lay leader with a musical service on the 4th Friday of the month. The choir sang popular songs at a local care home for Mitzvah Day (a date in November when Jewish organisations up and down the UK perform acts of kindness in their local community). The choir also sang at the Royal Borough of Kingston civic event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2018. 13 – KLS Annual Report 2017

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