Alei Tzion Celebrate 10th Anniversary
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Thursday 9th July 2015

Last Monday, members of Alei Tzion United Synagogue - past and present – celebrated how far this emergent community has come since its inception 10 years ago. Over 200 guests joined rabbis and leaders of the United Synagogue at a Gala Dinner at The Hive in Barnet. 

The somewhat anomalous community based in LSJS in Hendon and led by Rabbi Daniel Roselaar, boasts the lowest average age of any United Synagogue, encourages its members to leave (to go to Israel) and has the youngest Chair in the US – who also happens to be female. 

The dinner was a celebration of how the community has stayed true to the values upon which it was founded – of the strongest commitment to Torah and mitzvot, to aliyah and to contributing to wider society. As she launched the appeal for a purpose built, permanent home for the shul, Chair Michelle Bauernfreund said “Over the past ten years the people in this room, and some who are not, have built the spiritual and communal foundations of Alei Tzion. Now it is time for us to address the physical needs of the community". £30,000 was raised on the night in response to her appeal. 

Much tribute was paid to Marc Weinberg z”l, whose fifth yarzheit fell the previous night and who a key driving force behind bringing the dream of Alei Tzion to fruition. 

A VT of ‘Olei Tzion’ (those who have made Aliyah from the community) told the inspired audience that over 50 adults and 65 children have made the move to Israel from the community.  

The guest speaker was Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat and founder of the Ohr Torah Stone network  - a hero of the Modern Orthodox movement, though no stranger to controversy. He told stories of how he has come up against the establishment on numerous occasions, most recently making headlines when the Israeli Chief Rabbinate Council suggested that they might not extend his term of office for a further five years beyond his recent 75th birthday.

Rabbi Roselaar said of this special year: "The tenth anniversary events showcased Alei Tzion at its very best and last night's dinner was a fitting celebration of everything that we have achieved to date".