Yearly Archives: 2015

Chanukah Market Photos


On 12-13 December the synagogue held it’s revamped Chanukah Market. The Market was a huge success with visitors young and old enjoying a range of stalls and activities. Here is a selection of photos from the event.

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Guest Speaker: Dr Hanan Alexander


Hanan Alexander

On Friday 5 February we will be joined by world renowned Jewish educator, Dr Hanan Alexander.

Dr Alexander will be speaking at our Friday night service which begins at 6.45pm. His topic of choice is: “Mature Zionism: When is it legitimate to criticize Israel and when not?”

Following Kiddush on Saturday 6 February, Dr Alexander will address the community on “What is Jewish about Jewish Education”.  The service begins at 10am.


Dr Hanan Alexander – a short bio

Hanan Alexander is Dean of Students and Professor of Philosophy of Education at the University of Haifa, where he heads the International School and the Center for Jewish Education.  A past head of Haifa’s Department of Education, he is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. His research interests include political, moral, spiritual, religious, and Jewish education and the philosophy of social research.

Educated at UCLA, Stanford, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, Alexander has taught philosophy and educational studies at the American Jewish University, where he was Academic Vice President; UCLA; the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley; the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York; and Bar Ilan University, Israel.  He also served as Editor of the journal Religious Education, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Visiting Fellow at St. Edmund’s College and the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK.

Alexander has published more than 125 essays in various academic and professional venues, a number of which have been translated into German, Dutch, Chinese, and Hebrew. His books include Reclaiming Goodness: Education and the Spiritual Quest (University of Notre Dame Press, 2001), which won a 2002  National Jewish Book Award, Ethics and Spirituality in Education: Philosophical, Theological, and Radical Perspectives (Sussex, 2004), Citizenship Education and Social Conflict: Israeli Political Education in Global Perspective, with Halleli Pinson and Yossi Yonah (Routledge, 2011) and Commitment, Character, and Citizenship: Religious Schooling in Liberal Democracy, with Ayman Agbaria (Routledge, 2012).  His new book, Reimagining Liberal Education: Affiliation and Inquiry in Democratic Schooling, which was published by Bloomsbury in 2015, was recently nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.

European Jewish Choral Festival

Music at Belsize is proud to join with the Zemel Choir, led by our own music director Benjamin Wolf, in welcoming leading choirs to London for the Fourth European Jewish Choral Festival, 11-14 June 2015.  Public events not to be missed are:

Sold Out: Second night Seder

This event is now sold out

Pesach is a wondrous time when parents and grandparents are blessed with an opportunity to create warm, loving Jewish memories for their children and grandchildren.

Rabbi Altshuler and Cantor Heller, together with their families, invite you to join them for Second Night Seder at the Synagogue after the Service. Non-members welcome.

  • A Seder for the whole family
  • Delicious three course dinner
  • All the Pesach songs
  • Thoughtful insights

Saturday 4 April 2015: service at 6:45 pm, followed by Seder in Belsize Square Synagogue Hall. Price: £30 members, £35 non-members, £15 children. Online payment. Please phone the Synagogue Office on 020 7794 3949 or send an email to if you wish to attend.

Download Seder flyer.

Auschwitz: Photos from Westminster Abbey

Cantor Heller at Westminster Abbey

Cantor Paul Heller at the Abbey, with the Holocaust memorial candelabra.

Belsize Square’s cantor and choirs participated in a  solemn commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz at Westminster Abbey on 1 February. The service was led by The Dean of Westminster The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, and preparations were featured by the BBC.

The Belsize Square Youth Choir and Alyth Singers.

The Belsize Square Youth Choir and Alyth Singers.

The Auschwitz concentration camp in southwest Poland was first constructed by the Third Reich to hold Polish political prisoners, who began to arrive in May 1940. The first extermination of prisoners took place in September 1941, and the camp became a major site of the Nazi ‘Final Solution to the Jewish question’. From early 1942 until late 1944, transport trains delivered Jews to the camp’s gas chambers from all over German-occupied Europe, where they were gassed. At least 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, around 90 percent of them Jewish. Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and tens of thousands of people of diverse nationalities. The camp was liberated by the 322nd Rifle Division of the Red Army on January 27th 1945.