Thursday, 20 November 2014
The New North London Synagogue
The New North London Synagogue, part of the Masorti tradition here in the UK, vaguely equivalent to the Conservative movement in the States, is forty years old in 2015. Here are some of the words of Leslie Lyndon, one of the founder members, written in the 1975 Pesach/Passover newsletter:
Our aims are to seek Jewish knowledge, to create a house of prayer where people go, not out of habit or conformity, but because it has a religious atmosphere where they can achieve a spirit of kavannah1, to build a centre of learning for our children, to establish an organisation for performing acts of charity both within and without the Jewish community, and finally, to knit our members together into a living community.
They aimed for 400-600 families in membership; they now have 1,200 families. It took 7 years to acquire their own building, 14 years to appoint a full-time rabbi, but they are now among the most lively and vibrant expressions of Judaism with a membership and active attendance across the whole age-range.
As believers in Messiah, we need to recognise those qualities for the communities that we build: a place where people come to worship G-d by choice rather than duty, a place where there is a high value on study and learning as a means of growing in our relationship with G-d, valuing community over buildings or program, and a source of practical charity and involvement in the Body of Messiah and the wider local community.
 intentionality or concentration in worship