Rabbi Shulamit AmabaluWednesday 30 August 2017

Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue is delighted to announce the appointment of Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu to the role of Principal Rabbi.  

Rabbi Ambalu’s appointment completes a lengthy and thorough recruitment process that began earlier this year after an in-depth review of the Community Consultation that took place at the end of 2015.  Following a rigorous and strictly confidential assessment procedure, the Recruitment Team, formed from a wide cross-section of the community, concluded that Rabbi Ambalu fulfils all the qualities that are important in a Principal Rabbi to take our community forward.

Rabbi Ambalu said: “I am delighted to be joining the Sha’arei Tsedek community, and to be bringing my leadership and vision to this wonderful synagogue. I look forward to working closely with members, leaders and colleagues to develop the community itself, the many spiritual and educational opportunities it offers, as well as Sha’arei Tsedek’s role in the wider world”.



Important Kotel Update: act now

Please take a moment to read through the following important document that has been shared with us by the Movement for Reform Judaism (MRJ). The document has been sent to MRJ by IRAC (The Israel Religious Action Center), the leading civil and human rights organisation addressing issues of religion and state in Israel. The public and legal arm of the Reform Movement, IRAC advocates on behalf of a broadly inclusive Israeli democracy based on the principles of social justice and equality.

Read more: Important Kotel Update: act now



On Tuesday 10 May Roz Levenson, Head Teacher, Alonim Kindergarten was a guest speaker at a London Borough of Barnet ‘Schools and Learning’ Conference.  The conference was organised by the Early Years Standards Team and focused on Leadership and Management skills for practitioners working in the Borough’s nurseries and pre-schools.  

Speakers were selected from nurseries and pre-schools in the Borough that are recognised as providing ‘outstanding’ early year’s education.



Yom HaAtzmaut – community celebrations

On Sunday 8 May our Religion School pupils participated in a variety of activities to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut.  The activities included learning the Hatikva and writing a poem entitled ‘Hope’; making a ‘Star of David’ using wooden lolly sticks and collage materials; making a collage of the Israeli flag and making falafel and Israeli salad.  Here’s what some of the children had to say:

Read more: Yom HaAtzmaut – community celebrations


Yom Hashoah

Every year we are honoured to have a survivor speak to us, and every year we hear a very remarkable and powerful account.  These accounts are always remarkable and powerful.  Without exception I am always struck by the intensity of our listening and the way we focus our hearing." Rabbi James Baaden

Read more: Yom Hashoah


Alonim Quiz Supper raises £1000

“The evening was a great laugh, with good food, company and a great raffle”.

Team member, Alma Primary School

 Over 100 people attended this year’s annual Quiz Supper and raised approximately £1,000 to buy outside learning equipment for the nursery.  Teams included parents of former Alonim Kindergarten pupils, synagogue and Council members.

Read more: Alonim Quiz Supper raises £1000


Memorial Concert in aid of The Nina Maraney Bursary Fund raises over £1,500


On Sunday 20 March an audience of over 130 people packed the synagogue hall to enjoy a concert of eclectic liturgical and secular music.  The concert was given by The Zemel Choir and our very own synagogue choir.  The choirs performed songs in Hebrew, Yiddush and English spanning a wide range of genres including 17th century Baroque to 20st Century Leonard Cohen.

Read more: Memorial Concert in aid of The Nina Maraney Bursary Fund raises over £1,500


Alonim Kindergarten OUTSTANDING

Alonim Kindergarten celebrates being awarded an outstanding’ rating from Ofsted for a second time

Our nursery has received the top rating from Ofsted for a second time! Well done to Roz Levenson and all her team from everyone at Sha’arei Tsedek!

 Official news of the ‘outstanding’ rating was received by Head Teacher Roz Levenson on International Women’s Day (Monday 7 March).   This was particularly poignant as the staff team at Alonim is made up of amazing committed women who go that 'extra mile' every day.

Read more: Alonim Kindergarten OUTSTANDING


Launch of fourth Dementia Club at Sha’arei Tsedek

On Monday 7 March we successfully launched our partnership with Dementia Club UK.  The launch at Sha’arei Tsedek marks the fourth venue for the Club in the Borough of Barnet and the first at a synagogue.

Over 40 guests and their partners/carers attended the afternoon which was hosted by Councillor Lisa Rutter and attended by special guest, Lady Poppy Cooksey, Master of the Guild of Freeman of the City of London.  During the afternoon Lady Cooksey presented Lisa with a cheque for the Dementia Club UK.  Other guests included Rabbi James Baaden, Rabbi Judith Levitt, Father Gregory Platten (All Saint’s Church, Whetstone) and Richard Woolf.

Read more: Launch of fourth Dementia Club at Sha’arei Tsedek


New Members' Shabbat

On Saturday 16 January we held our New Member's Shabbat. The service was conducted jointly by Rabbis Baaden and Levitt with singing provided by our choir.

New member Neil commented, "the service was excellent and I loved the choir". Barbara added that she particularly enjoyed the way the service was shared by our Rabbis.

Activities for younger members were provided by our Michpacha group.  Leah aged 5 said " I like colouring in and playing here".

Read more: New Members' Shabbat


Mitzvah Day 2015

On Sunday 22nd November our community came together with All Saint’s Church, Friern Barnet and Palmers Green Mosque to support Mitzvah Day, the Jewish community’s global annual day of social action and giving.  This Mitzvah Day our community supported Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, Homeless Action in Barnet and Edmonton Food Bank.

Read more: Mitzvah Day 2015



On Sunday 13th December, over 250 members and friends came together to celebrate the beautiful festival of Chanukah and visit our ‘Fresher’s Fair’ style Open Afternoon.   

We were delighted that the Deputy Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Alison Cornelius and Revd Dr Gregory Platten, vicar of All Saint’s Friern Barnet were able to join us for this event.

During the afternoon Councillor Cornelius was shown around the ‘Fresher’s Fair’ where she spoke to many of our members about the activities and groups they run.



In memory of Shira Banki

The air stood still in Jerusalem’s Zion Square last night.

More than a thousand teens and young adults gathered there to attend a memorial service organized by the Jerusalem Open House. They came to grieve the loss of Shira Banki, the 16-year old girl who died yesterday afternoon days after being stabbed by an ultra-Orthodox man at last Thursday’s Jerusalem LGBTQ Pride March.

Read "The Pluralist" newsletter by Anata Hoffman of The Israel Religious Action Centre

Read more: In memory of Shira Banki


The hidden synagogue

Here are some pictures that we were sent of an amazing Judaica artifact. If you know any more about this please do let us know.

Read more: The hidden synagogue


Letter from Progressive Rabbis in Guardian 10 December 2014 :

• What do we need to do to get the government to listen and attend to the warnings of the archbishop of Canterbury concerning the shameful level of poverty endured by children and their families in the UK (Church v state rift over hunger, 8 December)?

Read more: Letter from Progressive Rabbis in Guardian 10 December 2014 :


Mitzvah Day


Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue, Palmers Green Mosque and All Saints Church, Friern Barnet

This year, Sha'arei Tsedek Synagogue, Palmers Green Mosque and All Saints Church ran a joint shopping collection outside Waitrose in Whetstone. This is the second time the Synagogue and Mosque have run a Mitzvah Day project together and the first time that it has been a Tripartite project, and is a continuation of the relationship that the three communities are continuing to develop.

See full article on Mitzvah Day Website


Visit to Bletchley Park

Rabbi Baaden led a full coach of members and friends on a very successful trip to Bletchley Park last Sunday.  We were fortunate to be accompanied by Ruth Bourne, who had worked there as a code-breaker during World War II.

Read more: Visit to Bletchley Park


Joint Chairs' speech at Yom Kippur

At our beautiful choral Selichot service two weeks ago - our annual entry into the days of awe - Rabbi Eimer reflected on the past year and on some of the difficult challenges we have all faced. He urged us all to move on with renewed hope into the year ahead.

Read more: Joint Chairs' speech at Yom Kippur


Restored "Community" scroll

At the Shavuot morning service we introduced the scroll I[Ed: Tony Jacobs, front right] have been restoring over the last two years. The. photograph shows some of the people who wrote a letter at Chanukah with the scroll on the reading desk.

Read more: Restored "Community" scroll


Sha’arei Tsedek's open day success

Sha’arei Tsedek North London Reform Synagogue held its first open day on Sunday 18 May looking to encourage as many local people to learn about and join the community. Even though it was one of the hottest and sunniest days of the year, there was a fantastic turnout, with dozens of people coming to see the wide variety of displays, groups and events which the synagogue has on offer.

Read more: Sha’arei Tsedek's open day success