Profile of Kenton Synagogue Community 2016
Our community is now 68 years old and has seen many changes. Kenton is an extremely busy and vibrant community, with many willing volunteers.
Our members have always been very active in welfare, social, education and cultural activities and so our multi-purpose building is used to its fullest.
Our ministers have all left deep impressions within Kenton and in the wider Jewish Community. They are Rabbi Cyril Harris zl, who later became Chief Rabbi of South Africa; Rabbi Edward Jackson; Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler; Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, the renowned author; Rabbi Zalman Kossowsky, who became the Chief Rabbi of Zurich; Rabbi Saul Zneimer, who became the Chief Executive of the United Synagogue; Youth director Rabbi Shmuel Miller; Rabbi Kanterovitz; and our current minister Rabbi Black.
We were privileged to have Rabbi Sydney Leperer zl as a member and he was invaluable as a teacher. We hold an annual memorial lecture in his name.
Our ministers have always been supportive of women taking a full part in community life, including leadership roles. We are fortunate that we have many gentlemen members who are able to lead the davening , which enables us to have minyanim three times a day.
We were the first United Synagogue community to have a weekly Shabbat Kodesh programme which takes place after the morning services and we are fortunate that many members, male and female, are our speakers, in addition to our rabbi.
We have weekly mixed learning sessions, a men's Gemorrah shiur, women's learning, regular social activities, including Kenton Awaydays, a bridge club, the Kenton Funnies Club, an Israel society, the Kentonians, women's simcha dancing, SEED, a book club, a songsters group, a knitting group, a music group, a literary society, and groups working for different charities. We have a large, active and productive Ladies Guild. There is something for everyone.
We receive visits of local primary school children and, in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum, our rabbi explains Judaism to them and what happens at synagogue services.
We have always had an active 'Care in Kenton' welfare group, with committed volunteers, including 'Link' people who make regular contact with everyone over 60. We host a weekly connect@Kenton group run by Jewish Care.
About 10 years ago Kenton collaborated with Kingsbury and Wembley United Synagogues for some adult education programmes. This unique organising group has now become KKW5, as it incorporates five synagogues, with the Wembley Sephardi David Ishag Synagogue, and the Wembley Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue joining the three United Synagogues.
Our 'Kenton through the year' document is a model for all United Synagogues as a guide for ongoing planning and timings for the everyday functioning of synagogue and community life.
We especially organise events around the festivals and historic occasions, including Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Yom Yerushalayim, Yom Hashoah,and Holocaust Memorial Day. We hold Shabbaton lunches, summer seudot and melaveh malkas.
Kenton has always been a Zionistic community and many of our members have family connections with Israel or have gone on Aliyah.
We are immensely proud of the part that Kenton plays in the wider Jewish community, professionally or in voluntary lay leadership roles, including at Trustee level. Some of our members are school governors, teachers, deputy Heads, and Heads of Jewish Schools. It is wonderful that some of the community's children had the opportunity to go to Yeshivas and Seminaries and that a number of the boys have become rabbis.
All our activities encompass our mission statement – 'As a community we are committed to provide every Jew with a range of Jewish experiences, personal support and opportunities for spiritual development, all within the framework of Torah and halacha.'
Back row (Left to Right)
Mark Simmons [FR], Stuart Leigh[US Council Rep], Joe Golstein [BOM], Rabbi Black, Cyril Brazil [BOM], David Harris [Vice-Chairman], Philip Spiers [Associate Warden and BOM]
Front row (Left to Right)
Madeleine Whiteson [BOM], Marilyn Scott [BOM], Irene Leeman [Chairman], Marlene Knepler [BOM], Lynn Stock [Ladies Guild Rep]
Thanks to Sharna Kinsley for the photography.