History was made on 22nd April 2017 when four different services were held under one roof and each congregation joined together to make an inter-denominational community kiddush.
Queenshill Orthodox Synagogue, Sinai Reform Synagogue, Masorti and York Liberal Movement all held seperate services at the community centre – and all were open to Leeds Jewish Housing Association tenants and the wider community.
Ages ranged from under two months up to nonagenarians.
LJHA Chairman, Kate Pearlman-Shaw said: “At the suggestion of one of our tenants, we trialled this model several years ago, this being our fourth and most successful, with one resident saying they can now go to seperate services, but join in kiddush as family.”
Queenshill Synagogue minister Jeremy Conway described the event as a “credit to the LJHA and our community.”
Lee carter, York Liberal Chairman, added: “We particularly enjoyed the opportunity to relax over lunch with our members, the Nuuman family, who are now settled in Leeds, close to Brodetsky Primary School which their daughter Yara attends.”
Leading the Liberal service, attended by more than 40 people, was student Rabbi Deborah Blausten, a second year student at the Leo Baeck College, who is on a one year placement with YLJC.
Leeds Jewish Representative president Laurence Saffer said he aimed to ensure that the voice of all parts of the Leeds Jewish Community “continues to be loud and proud”.
Tenant Viktoria Wagner, LJHA Service Improvement Panel member, helped lead the childrens’ service, which was held in the Creche.
Sinai Synagogue associate Rabbi Esther Hugenholts said “it was a pleasure, privilege and honour to lead the Reform service again at the LJHA Shabbat.”
“This year we decided to do things a little differently, bringing a musical touch to our services with the guitar, which added to the joy of song that our congregation enjoyed.”
“Sharing the joint kiddush allowed us all to mingle, nosh, schmooze and get to know eachother and there was a fantastic sense of camaraderie over an excellent kosher kiddush.”
She added: “There was a real sense of togetherness which is something to treasure and build on.”
Leeds Masorti’s Jennifer Walper Roberts said: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”