From the Chair of the Board of Trustees

                                                                                                CHAIR’S COLUMN FOR SHEMA DECEMBER 2020


As I reported to the AGM, the successful transition of the Synagogue from an unincorporated body to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) was seamlessly and successfully completed on 1st July 2020. This is simply an organisational change and will not affect the membership in any way. Following the transition, the term Council is now obsolete and the Synagogue’s governing body is now known as the Board of Trustees. A list of the elected Trustees is contained elsewhere in this newsletter.

Unfortunately, due to the restrictions caused by Covid-19, we could not hold physical services for the High Holy Days however, thanks to the organisational skills of our Senior Warden, Melvin Pedro, we experienced successful services via Zoom. My thanks to Melvin, Rabbi Larry, lay readers and those who led the singing. Included in the services was a successful Sukkot morning service held jointly with SWESRS.     We recently held our first Barmitzvah on Zoom and, although I was unable to “attend”, I understand that it was very successful; mazeltov to Isaiah and his family.

Virtual Cheder classes restarted on 15th November 2020.

As you all aware, Rabbi Larry recently announced his intention to retire and the date for this has now been agreed as 30th June 2021. We have commenced the search for a successor and have formed a Rabbinic Selection Committee, under the chairmanship of Melvin Pedro, the other members of the Committee are Frank Godson, Andrew Lewis, Daniel Morgan-Thomas, Oren Rosenmann, Rachel Savage and myself. The Committee has held its initial meeting and, immediately following the AGM, a discussion took place on what was expected from a new Rabbi. I will keep you informed, on a regular basis, as and when necessary.  Unfortunately, until further notice, all services, committee meetings and other activities will take place via Zoom and, hopefully, it will not be too long before we can use our premises again.

We are still seeking somebody to fill the following positions   Vice Chair,       Chair of Youth Education,      Head of Security

The Synagogue does not run itself and, in addition to the paid employees, we rely heavily on volunteers. Unfortunately, it is the same few people, with one or two exceptions, who come forward and are often recycled annually. Some of us are aging and cannot continue indefinitely. If you think that you can fill one of the above positions or can volunteer in any way, please contact me. We need fresh blood to help the Synagogue to continue to function properly.

I wish you all a happy Chanukah.


Jeff Soraff

Chair of Board of Trustees