Tishrei, with all its festivals, is almost behind us.
To all who took part and made this past month at New London so special, thank you.
The new moon of Cheshvan appears this Saturday night.
The month is characterised as ‘bitter’ – devoid of Jewish festivals. That may be true, but for us at New London it is a sweet month to come packed full of wonderful opportunity for Jewish engagement at New London.
Among the highlights of the month to come we have a Friday night dinner with the director of Tzedek, a Jewish charity supporting the developing world, next Friday 23rd November. We will be infusing our meal with tastes both social and socially active.
The following Sunday, 1st November 8pm, I will be on a panel to be chaired by the director of the Council of Christians and Jews with other local clergy representing Christian and Muslim faiths. We will be discussing prayer in our various faith traditions and launching the New London adult education series on Prayer. More information on the weekly classes beginning Monday 9th November can be found below.
On Sunday 8th November, from 2pm, New London is hosting Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Reb Zalman is one of the greats of twentieth century Jewry, doyenne of eco-kashrut and a vast range of spiritual and interfaith initiatives. This is another world-class Jewish leader due to speak at New London.
Then, on the 15th November, we are marking Mitzvah Day, for the first time at New London. Mitzvah Day is one of the most exciting developments in Anglo-Jewry; a request that Jews of all streams and stripes work ‘to reduce hardship and poverty, to help our environment and to bring a little joy all through volunteering – not by fund raising.’ Among a score of other Jewish organisations we are hosting a Mitzvah Day event, collecting and preparing packs for refugees. More information on this important event is emblazoned around the Kiddush Hall.
We are working, at New London, to enrich our programme, to offer better education provision, to continue to bring the very best scholars to New London and to engage in walking the narrow bridge which connects an authentic understanding of Jewish tradition to a meaningful engagement in the world in which we live. For many members and friends the Shabbat and Festive Prayer Services are the heart of what we do, for others it is our youth programming, and, indeed, both are vital parts of what we do. But there is more. In the month to come I hope all our members will take the opportunity to avail ourselves of the incredible opportunities to enrich our engagement with our unique Jewish identity.
May the month to come be as sweet as the month just past,