Our full programme of activities through September can be found in our monthly newsletter ‘Around Alyth’ and the Weekly ’MyAlyth’ email. Many of our regular activities, including our Pardes and Essentials classes will include content reflecting the time of the year, as will many activities for younger members (such as our Sensory Shabbat, Toddler Group and Kef Zones).
In addition, we are delighted to offer a number of special opportunities to prepare for the High Holy Days which are unique to the month of Elul at Alyth. These include:
Starting Elul: The New Year for Animals Dog Walk
Sunday 1 September, 10:30–11:30
According to the Mishnah, 1 Elul is the New Year for animals. Join Mike Mendoza at the corner of Wildwood Road and Hampstead Way for a walk on the Heath Extension, including a prayer recognising the role of animals in our lives and a run on the Heath for our furry friends. No dogs needed. Wet weather plan – bring an umbrella!
ELUL HALF HOURS: “The question is a great religious act” Rabbi Shmuel Sperber (1904-1984)
Fridays through Elul at 17:45, Saturdays at 09:45
The return of our unique programme of Cheshbon HaNefesh (“accounting for the soul”) in advance of the High Holy Days. Join us for these brief times of reflection, study and contemplation before each of Alyth’s Shabbat services during Elul. You are welcome to attend every session, or to simply drop in when you wish, and no pre-booking is necessary. We only ask that when you come, you try to join at the start of the session.
In this year’s Elul Half Hours, eight different teachers will each take a question asked in the Bible as a starting point for reflection on our own lives.
Friday 6 September Rabbi Josh Levy
“Is it a time for you to dwell in your panelled houses, while this House is lying in ruins?” Haggai 1:4
Saturday 7 September Rabbi Colin Eimer
“What is your name?” Genesis 32:28
Friday 13 September Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris
“But will God really dwell on earth?” I Kings 8:27
Saturday 14 September Rabbi Hannah Kingston
“Are you right to be angry?” Jonah 4:4
Friday 20 September Rabbi Laura Janner Klausner
“Am I my brother’s keeper” Genesis 4:9
Saturday 21 September Lynette Sunderland
“When they ask me, “What is God’s name?” what shall I say to them?” Exodus 3:13
Friday 27 September Student Rabbi Nicola Feuchtwang
“How shall we return?” Malachi 3:7
Saturday 28 September Rabbi Daniel Lichman
“Where are you?” Genesis 3:9
Young Adults Pre-HHD Lunch
Sunday 15 September, 13:00-15:00
An opportunity for young adults in our community to eat and learn, together with Rabbi Hannah and Sam Heller, in advance of the High Holy Days. Meet people you will be praying, reflecting and learning with over the coming weeks and help to welcome newer members into our Alyth family.
Israeli Dance Classes
Sundays 22 September & 6 October, 10:30–11:30
Do you love dancing during the hakkafot on Simchat Torah, but always feel you’re doing a mayim when you should be doing a Yemenite step? Join Rabbi Hannah to learn the moves we will be dancing together during Simchat Torah.
THIS YEAR’S BIG ISSUES: Is Britain becoming a more intolerant society (and if so, what can we do about it?)
Tuesday 17 September, 20:00
Join Keith Kahn-Harris and Omar Khan as they explore the apparent growth of racism and intolerance in the UK and how we can respond.
Sociologist Dr Keith Kahn-Harris is the author of ‘Denial: The Unspeakable Truth’ and ‘Strange Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and the Limits of Diversity’. Dr Omar Khan is Director of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading race equality think tank. Hosted by Rabbi Josh. Please let us know you are coming by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 21 September
At the Synagogue, Alyth Gardens
NEW FOR 5780 Teen Selichot
Saturday 21 September, 19:30-22:00
A secret cinema style Selichot event, to help you prepare for the High Holy Days.
We will start the evening with an immersive screening of the 2004 comedy “Mean Girls” to see what the students of Northshore High can teach us about staying true to ourselves in the year ahead.
Following light refreshments, we will gather at the ‘Spring Fling Dance’ to reflect, sing and find our peace as we prepare for the new year.
With Rabbi Hannah and Sophie Peterman.
Selichot Choral Service, With Film
Saturday 21 September, 21:00-00:10
Selichot is a beautiful way to bring yourself towards the High Holy Days and to enhance their spiritual impact. We come together on a Saturday evening to hear for the first time the sounds of the High Holy Days and the poems that search our souls.
We will start the evening with Eli Cohen’s 1991 film “The Quarrel”. Montreal 1948, Rosh Hashanah. Chaim, a Yiddish writer, is reluctantly drawn into making up a minyan. Later, in a park, he sees an old friend from pre-war yeshivah days in Lithuania. Hersh, now a rabbi, survived Auschwitz with his faith strengthened; Chaim escaped the Nazis, but had lost his faith long before. The two argue about their Judaism, their survival – and their quarrel.
After light refreshments, we will begin our reflective choral service with Rabbi Colin, Student Rabbi Nicola, Viv Bellos and the Alyth Choir at 23:10.
You are welcome to join just for the film or to come in time for refreshments and the Selichot service.