ShabbatUK 2016 at Hendon
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Wednesday 16th November 2016

ShabbatUK celebrations at Hendon US were preceded by three events:

  • A pre Rosh Hashanah Gift Fair the proceeds of which went towards their ShabbatUK Budget
  • A Masterchef for 12-16 year olds on 2nd November when youth from the community delivered outstanding plates of food to a judging panel. 
  • A chesed initiative involving youth visiting residents of a local old age home on 10th November

Throughout Shabbat a ‘Sharing Shabbat’ Art gallery (in memory of Liora Rosenberg, a young talented artist from our community who died earlier this year and some of whose artwork was displayed) and tweets on ‘What Shabbat means to me’ displayed submissions from members of the Hendon US community around the Raleigh Close campus.

ShabbatUK itself started with the Great Friday Night Light in the Community Centre followed by Mincha and Kabbalat Shabbat with the Four Sons an a’capella group of 5 boys who, with shaliach tzibbur Malcom Cohen, delivered one of the best  Kabbalat Shabbat services ever experienced in the community, to a packed shul. Following the tefillah a session ‘More than the Jew has kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jew’ was held, in which members of the community shared a special or unusual Shabbat in their lives: Spencer Lewis spoke about a Shabbat in Moscow in 1989, Renee Salt (Holocaust survivor) about her son Martin’s barmitzvah at Raleigh Close, Ryan Jacobson about an unusual Kiddush experience in Marrakech and Eli and Leah Meyer who recently returned from a Tribe trip to Poland, shared the inspiration and emotion of that trip with the community. Friday Night Dinner was held in a packed community centre and featured songs from the Four Sons and Hendon US ShabbatUK co-Chair Harvey Bratt ‘In Conversation’ with guests of honour, Lord (Jon) and Lady (Nicola) Mendelsohn.  A diverse range of subjects were discussed - their working, family, charity and communal lives, anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, Baroness Chakrabati, the future of social media, and their joint love of ‘The Godfather’ book and film, amongst others.

Shabbat morning’s activities were not dampened by poor weather although the overnight flooding of Sarah Imeinu’s tent meant that her presentation had to be rapidly re-sited indoors! In the main shul, tefillah was led by shaliach tzibbur Alex Jacobs accompanied again by the Four Sons and Rabbi Ginsbury spoke inspirationally on the theme of ‘Keeping it together - Shabbat in our lives’. The children were entertained from around 10.30am in the Aviva Hardman/Sol Cohen Halls by Jewish American rapper Ari Lesser and the talented actors (camel included!) performing in Sarah’s ‘tent’. The youth had a rapping Kiddush with Ari, who also performed his recently composed Shabbat rap (and his version of Adom Olam) to a captivated main shul audience.  A very large crowd in the Community Centre was entertained after the end of the service to an impromptu performance by Ari Lesser with the Four Sons, as well as a sumptuous Bagels Bar kiddush!

Little time to get home for lunch and return for mincha and a Wrap/Rap seudah shlishit – the wraps provided by Bagels Bar and the raps by Ari Lesser!

A musical havdallah featuring Rabbi and Rebbetzen Binstock with Ari was further enhanced by a raffle for the Great Tapuach Trolley Dash. Finally, around 20 children and their parents proceeded to the Beth HaMedrash for the launch of the 2016/7 Avos u’Banim season – the climax of 27 hours together sharing in the beauty and majesty of a unique and fun-filled ShabbatUK 2016 at Hendon US, Raleigh Close.