Home > Community News > From the President’s Chair – Rosh Hashanah – September/October 2017

Dear Members and Friends

Firstly let me wish you and your friends and families a Shana Tova, and well over the fast.

I am conscious at these times, as I’m sure we all are, of the lives lost around us, and this year is no exception. We have had shocking terrorist atrocities in this country and abroad, and our thoughts go out to all who have suffered losses. Peter and I have just returned from a trip to the battlefields of the First World War at Ypres and Passchendaele. As we stood at the Menin Gate listening to the last post being played, and seeing the wreaths being laid, I wondered about our own servicemen, and possibly even service women, who lost their lives in that war and in the Second World War. We have named individuals on the memorial in shul, and in this the 100th anniversary year of the Battle of Passchendaele, I think it would be fitting to remember those individuals on Remembrance Sunday.

We have a busy High Holy Days programme ahead, and the forthcoming year looks every bit as busy as the year gone by. It promises to be an exciting year since I hope very much that we will be in a financial position to start work on the long overdue renovations to the communal hall. Our deepest thanks to the many of you who have contributed so generously both financially and in your efforts to raise money for us. You may know from my last newsletter that we are planning on undertaking these works as part of the development of The Norwich Jewish Community and Heritage Centre, which is what our communal hall will become, and the Castle Museum staff will be providing curatorial and practical advice. We hope very much that in the years to come, Norwich will become a significant destination for those interested in Jewish history, and known for the important Jewish story here which stretches back almost a thousand years.  We will also be able to better support the important education work in which Marsha and her team are involved.

We plan to keep any disruption to our service to an absolute minimum and I will be in touch with you about that nearer to the time.

Socially we have a busy schedule this side of Hanukkah, with the Heritage Open Day on Thursday 7th September, followed by the Garden Party on 10th September, and then Rosh Hashanah the following week. As you will see from the enclosed form, you are all invited to our Rosh Hashanah Seder, on Wednesday 20th September, at 6:30.   This is a tasty innovation for us since we will be providing a fish meal along with seven different delicacies to sample! We are delighted that Nick Simons and Joel Druet have accepted the honour of being our Chatan Torah and Chatan Bereshit this year, so do come along with all children/grandchildren for the usual fun at Simchat Torah on Wednesday 11th October.

The High Holy Days Calendar gives details of all service times etc., and of course do keep an eye on our website for updated information www.norwichsynagogue.org.uk. The website also gives details of the “Silent Auction” in aid of the synagogue renovation fund, in which Nick Simons is the auctioneer!

In November we will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Balfour Declaration and we have a speaker from an organisation called ‘We Believe in Israel’ coming for Shabbat lunch to tell us more about it. And finally, you will see later on in the newsletter that the entire community is invited to Pinner for Shabbat on the weekend of 1st/3rd December! Our twinning friends there have invited us to stay with them and there will be no expenses to pay, in so far as all meals will be provided etc. We have a core group of five already signed up to go, and we would love to have a bigger representation. Do think about joining us, we will provide the transport there and back if necessary through car sharing, depending of course on how many of you would like to come.

It just remains for the Prinsley Family to wish you all a very sweet and peaceful year ahead, filled with health and happiness.

Shana Tova, Marian.

Alex Bennett blowing a Sephardi style Shofar.

A shofar is an ancient musical instrument made from a ram’s horn.

It is blown in Synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and at the very end of Yom Kippur, and is also blown every weekday morning in the month of Elul running up to Rosh Hashanah.