Chairman’s message 22 July

Chairman’s message 22 July

Dear Friends

Today, 22 July, is the 1st of Av, the first of nine days leading up to Tisha B’Av the annual Fast Day which mourns the destruction of the Temple. During this period we all remember some of the terrible things that have befallen the Jewish people, for instance 22 July marks the first day of the Great Deportation of Jewish people from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka. However, I do not want to write an email to you that is solemn, although it would be fitting for this period. So I bring you some interesting Jewish facts about the 22 July and 1st Av.

  • Aaron passed away at age 123 on the 1st of Av in the year 2487, about 1274 BCE. This is the only time that the Torah mentions the exact date of a yahrzeit (Numbers/Bamidbar 33:38)
  • Emma Lazarus was born on 22 July 1849 into a wealthy New York family that was descended from Sephardic Jewish Americans. Her poem “The New Colossus” was chosen to be displayed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. It features the famous lines “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
  • On 22 July 1598 William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, was entered on the Stationers’ Register. By decree of Queen Elizabeth I, the Stationers’ Register licensed printed works, giving the Crown tight control over all published material. (Yes, I know I am stretching this as a Jewish fact but it is the subject of the play!)
  • Lastly, not a Jewish fact, but very sweet, 22 July is Prince George’s birthday. He was born in 2013.

On the subject of younger people, Caroline Loison, Frank Joseph, Lee Taylor and I have also been working on when Cheder should physically reopen. The following plan has been approved and parents have been written to, but I thought you would be interested too. We considered re-opening Cheder “Live” at the Synagogue at the start of September. However, it would only have been possible to have three Sunday morning sessions at the Synagogue – 6th and 13th September and 18th October. The other Sundays clash with festivals. So instead of a rather disjointed start to “Live” Cheder, we have opted to delay the return to synagogue until November after half term and focus on the festivals. The timetable for the first half of term looks like this:
Sunday 6 September 2020 – Welcome to BSS Cheder Online
Sunday 13 September 2020 – Rosh Hashanah @ BSS Cheder Online
Sunday 20 September 2020 – 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah – NO CHEDER
Sunday 27 September 2020 – Kol Nidre – Yom Kippur @ BSS Cheder Online
Sunday 4 October 2020 – 2nd day of Succot – Succot @ BSS Cheder Online
Sunday 11 October 2020 – Simchat Torah – Simchat Torah @ BSS Cheder Online
Sunday 18 October 2020 – BSS Cheder Online
Sunday 25 October 2020 – Half-term – NO CHEDER
Sunday 1 November 2020 – Half-term – NO CHEDER

Online 1-2-1 Hebrew sessions will also continue in the first half the Autumn Term.

I want to express an enormous thank you to Caroline Loison, for all her hard work and Cheder leadership, it is much appreciated.

For the High Holydays we will be holding Youth Services on Zoom on Rosh Hashanah (led by Dilys Tausz and her team) and Kikar Kids (led by Richard Pollins). The Planning Group are also working on the design of Zoom services for younger people on Simchat Torah. Caroline, who as well as leading Cheder leads our Youth activities, is planning an informal programme that will run on Zoom during Yom Kippur. There will be short activities for anyone in the age range 4-13. Of course this will be in addition to our Youth Service. More information on all of this will follow in a few weeks.

You will shortly receive booking details for the August Shabbat services from Lee. I want to let you know that if you come by car, you will be able to book a place (subject to capacity) in our car park. You may need to wait in your car shortly before you can come into the Synagogue, as social distancing rules apply there too. Full information will be in Lee’s email.

The Planning Group have now agreed the lay out of the Bimah for Shabbat services, with Perspex screen protection for both Rabbi Altshuler and Cantor Heller. Neither will enter into each other’s space to make sure that they stay socially distanced and safe. We have also set up the Perspex screens along the front of the upstairs seating. Here are some pictures of how these will look.


Can I remind you that this coming Sunday is the Tisha B’Av Annual Memorial Service of the Chevra Kadisha at Pound Lane Cemetery. If you are planning to come, then please remember that it will all be outside and socially distanced. Please wear a mask and bring a folding chair if you would like to sit down. We will be handing out a booklet with the service in it, so you may want to wear gloves too but that is your decision. There will be no toilet facilities available.

I have been asked to let you know that there will be a Zoom “Limmud Together” taking place on 2 August 2020. The last one was very informative and fun. If you are interested and would like to sign up then please go to

Eve Hersov, our Community Care Co-ordinator has drawn my attention to Paperweight who continue to deliver amazing help to individuals. Paperweight offers guidance to those struggling with financial hardship particularly at the moment due to the COVID crisis. They help to manage credit card and other debts and to navigate the welfare and benefits systems. Their services include:
Financial support – managing debts, bills and budget planning. They can intervene with creditors to negotiate time to pay.
Welfare & benefits – to which benefits is someone entitled, and help is on hand to complete complex application forms.
Legal issues – support with family law (divorce and child custody) or civil law (home repossession or debt) processes.
Paperweight also releases regular Covid bulletins providing up to date information on all the latest government guidelines. You can find them at

Finally, a reminder that The Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) are surveying in particular how Jews in the UK have been affected by COVID-19. Their aim is to gather valuable insights into how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on health, employment, social relationships and Jewish lives. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO TAKE PART

That is all from me this week, but if you have any events or information that you would like me to include then please do send the details to me. Stay safe and stay well.


Gardening Tips

Just to remind you that whilst they are not experts, both Henny and John have agreed to answer any gardening questions that you may have. Please email questions to Adam Rynhold at and he will pass them on.

From John Alexander

  • Watch out for suckers, particularly from rose bushes and standard roses, and tear them off at their base.
  • Seedlings of trees and weeds can be easily pulled up.
  • Keep climbers under control.
  • Don’t forget the slug pellets and water the pots and hanging baskets.
  • Continue deadheading perennials and bedding plants (just pinch off the faded flowers, or cut off if the stems are a bit tougher) – something that can done every couple of days as you walk around and take pleasure in seeing what plants are flourishing.