Life within a shul community is never quiet -– now that’s a massive understatement! Since my last notes from the chair in September, we have celebrated the High Holy Days and latterly, Sukkot and NLJC has demonstrated its formidable energy.
I have said before how fortunate we are as a community to have so many committed and prodigiously talented members. The High Holy Days cause us to experience such a wide range of emotions; we are encouraged to pause and reflect deeply on how we have led our lives and how we wish to lead them in the future. In my view, our services over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur carefully struck the balance between reflection, sombreness and anticipation. Once again, they were entirely home-grown and led superbly by Kim and Philip. For the past two years, both have given willingly and generously of their precious time on our behalf and we are deeply indebted to them. Their shared feats of organisation, gentle encouragement and good humour are remarkable. I know we all wish to join in thanking them for all that they have done on our behalf; thank you. And thank you too, of course, to all those who participated in the services; opening the Ark, processing the Torah, reading from the bimah, leading meditations, blowing the shofar etc.
And our interfaith Sukkot once again presented NLJC at its best. As Liberal Jews, we understand that we are a small, (but highly vocal) part of a rich, diverse community. It is not for nothing that one of our core values is ‘inclusion’. We demonstrated this at the service with visitors and guests from a number of other faith communities, including Bishop Graham, soon to be enthroned as Bishop of Norwich. We were delighted too to welcome members of NHC who joined us ‘under the Sukkah’, demonstrating the solidarity within the Jewish community in Norwich, Norfolk and beyond. LJ’s very own Rabbi Danny Rich helped to lead the service with Rabbi Gershon. This service was the culmination of a lot of hard work and organisation which Annie Henriques took on with her customary enthusiasm and passion. Annie, thank you for an incredible achievement.
We are deeply indebted to you. I don’t know where you find the time and energy!
On Saturday afternoon, I shall be representing NLJC at the enthronement of Bishop Graham at Norwich Cathedral. On Sunday, I shall be joining the civic ceremony of remembrance at City Hall to lay a wreath on behalf of NLJC in grateful thanks for all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, prior to attending the Remembrance Day service in the cathedral.
Council decided earlier in the year to reinstate Erev Shabbat ‘gatherings’, and we hope to welcome you to the OMH this Friday, prior to our November service on Saturday.