St John's Wood Shul's first ever away Shabbaton!
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Thursday 18th May 2017

Over the weekend of 12-14 May, St John's Wood Synagogue celebrated its first ever away Shabbaton. The hugely successful event took place at Audleys Wood Hotel in Hampshire, where 134 participants celebrated the community under the theme 'My family, my community, my world'. The guests represented the shul's diverse cross-section of members, with people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds, including families and singles, teenagers and senior members of the community, ranging in age from 5 months to one hundred years old!

The programme of events was varied, ranging from stunningly catered Shabbat meals, whisky-tasting sessions, a Zumba class on Sunday morning and sing-along interactive services, to discussion groups and panel-led sessions. These were led by both Dayan Ivan Binstock and Rebbetzin Rachie Binstock, and Assistant Rabbi Yoni Golker, and Rebbetzin Dina Golker.

Jonny and Elisheva Fishel, SJW Youth Directors, ran the most exciting programme for the youth which entertained them all weekend long.

There was an impressive panel discussion about the business world, and wall-to-wall activities for children and teens overseen by several madrichim.

The weather was kind – it rained only during the services on Shabbat morning – and everyone was able to enjoy relaxing in (or playing football in!) the beautiful grounds of the hotel.

The weekend ended with a spectacular Lag b'Omer bonfire Havdalah, with guitar accompaniment from the Shul's very talented chazzan, Cantor Avreimi Kirshenbaum, as well as a drumming session for the whole community. Rabbi Yossi Binstock got the crowd going throughout the weekend with rousing renditions of songs old and new.

The Shabbaton brought people together from across the community. We are looking forward to planning the next one. Many thanks to all our sponsors and to US Living & Learning for their help in facilitating this Shabbaton!