Mill Hill East Jewish Community goes from Strength to Strength
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Thursday 4th February 2021

Mill Hill East Jewish Community, a dynamic, vibrant, and inclusive Jewish Community, has over 225 members which have joined since becoming a full member of the United Synagogue in April 2018. Despite Covid, Mill Hill East has gone from strength to strength and continued to grow in membership.

Last week, Mill Hill East Jewish Community celebrated Tu Bishvat with a packed week of virtual events. This included a fascinating talk from TED speaker and bestselling author Jonathan Drori, CBE, on ‘A trees-eye view of the world’ which attracted 30 people. Jonathan took the community on a beautifully illustrated journey to learn things about trees we would never have imagined beforehand, including their sometime lethal defence mechanisms!

This past Wednesday night, over 50 people attended a Tu Bishvat seder and cocktail making class; attendees were provided all the ingredients to make some fruity and delicious cocktails, whilst hearing friends share thoughts on Tu Bishvat. On Sunday morning, 43 children attended an Arts and Crafts event, which saw the children decorating their own plant pots and planting sunflower seeds.

Mill Hill East has developed many initiatives to support all its members during the pandemic. The Community launched their ‘MHElpers’ group which links up members who require help and support through lockdown. It also has been able to maintain provision for adults and children with a weekly Mishna shiur with Rabbi Bentzi, and online children services. Along with organising many virtual speaker events, socials and much more.

The Community has recently rebranded and gone digital with the launch of its Instagram page and new logo, which has been hugely successful.

Co-founder Avi Gillis commented: "It’s hard to believe that it has been two years since we held our first weekly Shabbat morning service at Canada Villa. At that point, we had only 100 members at Mill Hill East. Even during these difficult times, we have been fortunate enough to be able to continue to grow the Community and support our members with content and virtual events throughout the lockdowns. We also recently rebranded and launched our Instagram page which has been welcomed by our own Community and further afield."

Co-founder Josh Kleiman said: "Everyone has been incredibly supportive and encouraging in our response to Covid, which has enabled Mill Hill East Community to continue to thrive. We are particularly thankful to our volunteers, without whom we would not have been able to achieve any of this. Our community relies on volunteers, whose drive and commitment, alongside our fantastic Rabbi and Rebbetzen, have allowed our COVID provision to happen."

by Sara Neidle