Monday, 7 August 2017

This is who we are, this is what we want to be.

It’s seven weeks until Rosh Hashanah
I’ve written these weekly words for non - or not yet - New Londoners. Please take a moment to pass this message to anyone you think would appreciate being part of our communities for the celebrations to come.  Indeed, sending this to five people who could join us could be the greatest possible boon you could offer to the future of this wonderful community.
To those I haven’t met ... yet.
Come join us, at New London Synagogue - for the celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur especially.
Changing a lifelong Synagogue affiliation can be a daunting prospect. Attending a Synagogue for the first time is even more daunting. But the New Year calls on us all to be a brave. We are summoned to reflect on who we want to be and asked with whom we wish to stand - among our fellows and before a God (indeed a God some of us don’t believe in). Who or what do we want to be closer to, who or what do we want to step away from? New London is a place to wonder at these questions in the company of a wonderful chazan and in an atmosphere that inspires and even demands an openness of heart and mind.
A recent Jewish Policy Research report recorded growing numbers attracted to Masorti Synagogues. We know that - and it’s great news for us. But also plummeting numbers leaving the United Synagogue, and falls in the numbers attracted to Reform and Liberal communities. That’s not good news for the future of our faith, and the rise in affiliation to Masorti doesn’t come close to making up for declines elsewhere. My hunch is that many of those turning away from Synagogue based Judaism are no longer finding the voice of Judaism they grew up hearing compelling or inspiring, and with so many other calls on our time, they are drifting away. While there are many, many attracted to good Orthodox, Reform and Liberal communities, there are also those who are looking for a Hebrew, classical approach to liturgy combined with an openness to what it means to be a Jew of the twenty-first century. That’s us. That’s what we are trying to be. And if that is you, do consider joining us.
You can find out more about our services and even buy tickets through our web-page - or please do drop me a line - and if there is anything I can do to help you chart a path through this wonderful time, it would be an honour,
Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Jeremy

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