There is a strong tradition of community care at The LJS, which extends beyond the congregation.

Our rabbis and members are actively involved in social outreach activities and have a special interest in building good relationships with other communities through interfaith dialogue. Members and Friends are encouraged to participate in everything that the synagogue offers.

Volunteers play a big part in the activities described below. Our monthly newsletter and a weekly email bulletin keep members updated on services and events.

Archive Tuesdays

The Archive Team works in the Assembly Hall on Tuesdays. Activities include sorting historical papers, cataloguing, photo preservation – and if you bring a computer you can help load documents into our web repository. Please contact the Archivist, Cinde Lee at cinde.lee@gmail.com

 

The first purpose-built LJS under construction in 1923. This is one of a number of historic LJS photos which are in urgent need of preservation: if you would like to help with the work, either personally or financially, please contact the Archivist.

Bridge Club

This small group of friendly and enthusiastic players meets on Monday afternoons from 2-4.30pm.

The cost is £2 per afternoon, which includes tea/coffee and biscuits and all equipment. There is very little waiting if numbers are uneven as dummy moves round. The standard of the group is intermediate to advanced. Help can be given to less confident players, but you do need to know how to play to a basic level.

For more details, please leave a message with the LJS by calling 020 7286 5181 or emailing ljs@ljs.org.

Community Care

Our Community Care Co-ordinator, Aviva Shafritz, is ready to help with difficulties experienced, not only by our older members, such as illness and provision of care, but also across the spectrum of life. She also supports family members who are caring for a relative who is physically or mentally frail, and those who have suffered bereavement.

She welcomes new volunteers.

Aviva has access to many caring organisations, both local and Jewish, as well as activities that take place at the synagogue. She works closely with the Rabbis and the volunteers who run the Community Care groups at The LJS.

You can contact her at a.shafritz@ljs.org or 020 7286 5181.

Are you having problems using public transport? Are you no longer driving? Do you have a disability? At The LJS, we want to make sure that our activities and services are accessible to all our Members and Friends. If you need help getting to and from the synagogue, or with the cost of transport, please contact Community Care so that we can discuss how to help you. Email communitycare@ljs.org or telephone 020 7286 5181.

Drop-In for Asylum Seeker Families

The LJS Drop-in for Asylum Seeker Families has been running since June 2014. On one Sunday afternoon every month, we extend a warm welcome to families who have been made destitute while seeking asylum in the UK.

We offer our guests a safe and welcoming environment in which to relax, a hot and nutritious meal, a supervised children’s play area, good quality second-hand clothing, nappies, a shopping contribution, travel reimbursement and access to a solicitor, counsellor, doctor and social worker.

The Drop-in is operated entirely by volunteers. To find out more about volunteering or other ways of supporting the Drop-in, please email us on ljs@ljs.org

Keep In Touch

‘To occupy oneself with the needs of the community is as much a religious act as to study Torah.’ (Talmud)

Keeping in touch with the older and often frailer members of the community with a friendly phone call or a visit to them at home is both a valuable service for congregants and genuine pleasure for the KIT volunteers.  The group meets several times a year to discuss issues and undertake training.  Many other members of the LJS community visit on a more informal basis.

The Keep in Touch Tea Party is held twice a year, to which all senior members of the community are invited.  The party is hosted and catered superbly by our volunteers.

We welcome new volunteers.  If you are interested, please contact Aviva Shafritz on a.shafritz@ljs.org or 020 7286 5181.

Members' Choir

The Members’ Choir is always actively seeking new members. If you enjoy singing, why not consider joining them? They sing on the first Shabbat of each month and rehearse on alternate Monday evenings.

Contact the LJS Office or send a note to the Members’ Choir Director via our contacts page.

Out and About

The Out and About Club is a non-denominational club for disabled people which meets at the LJS on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 7-9pm. Transport for the majority of members is provided on request.

Members enjoy a variety of entertainment  from Music Hall to Big Band Jazz and speakers ranging from the History of Stores in London to a recent serious discussion on anti-Semitism with our President, Rabbi David Goldberg.

We are also able to give support to members who most need it.

Dame Esther Rantzen has accepted our invitation to become the Honorary President of the Out and About Club for its 50th anniversary year, 2017. Esther, together with Diana Da Costa, started the club 50 years ago and it has flourished ever since. We hope to celebrate our anniversary year with a series of special events.

For further information or inquiries, please contact the LJS office.

Phone a Member

Phone a Member (PAM) is a contact scheme where LJS volunteers telephone congregants aged 85 or over who have given their consent. Calls are made three times a year or more, with some people just called before the High Holydays. PAM is organised in close liaison with Keep in Touch (KIT).

If difficulties come to light, the Community Care Co-ordinator is on hand to take the matter over or advise on how to proceed.

We also record ICE (In Case of Emergency) telephone numbers so that in the event of concerns arising, or failure by the PAM volunteer to reach a congregant directly, we have permission to check on their well-being.

Restaurant Tuesday

At 12.45pm on the third Tuesday of each month, Restaurant Tuesday provides a warm and welcoming forum for members to meet, chat and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal in the Montefiore Hall. Diners are often joined by one or more of the Rabbis and a number of synagogue staff.

If you have never been before, please book your place by telephoning the synagogue on 020 7286 5181. Should transport be a problem you can use our Get-You-Home service.

Lunch costs £5.

Security

Our team provides security for all regular services and occasionally we use professional security guards. Private function clients booking events at the LJS are also required to provide a security presence.

The LJS has its own security core team headed by a Security Officer. The team consists of members, some of whom have many years experience in synagogue security and have also had thorough training by the CST (Community Security Trust). We also have our own highly experienced in-house security advisor and trainer and work very closely with the CST and the Metropolitan Police.

We are always looking for more volunteers from the membership. If you would like to help protect our members and congregants, please send us a note via the contacts page or email office@ljs.org.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or particular concerns about security.

Singing for the Mind

Singing for the Mind is open to anyone with memory problems or in the early to moderate stage of dementia, regardless of their background, or religious affiliation. We meet regularly, once a week between 2:00 and 4:00, with tea and biscuits as people arrive, to allow participants and their companions an opportunity to chat before we start singing at 2:30.

The hour-long singing session is led by a trained Music Leader, usually Judith Silver, supported by volunteers.  We have a visiting Dementia Specialist who is available for help and advice.

Sessions are free, however, a small donation per person per session is very welcome. We are most grateful for the support of the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation and other donors, without which this could not run.

For more information, or to ask about volunteering, please click here.

Memories Songs – A prize-winning film by Lucy Kaye with some participants at SFM and at home [12mins], click here.

Materials for SFM members, click here.

A glimpse at a SFM session [5mins]

Video and Tea

From 13.30-16.30 on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Just come along – no need to book. Soup on arrival then a DVD (film classics, musicals, etc) followed by a delicious tea including home-made coffee ice-cream. Donation of £2.

Programme for 2018

24 January “Sons of the Desert” (Laurel and Hardy)

28 February “Mamma Mia”

28 March “Ethel and Ernest”

25 April “Bugsy Malone”

23 May “The Artist”

27 June “Genevieve”

25 July “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”

22 August “Whisky Galore”

26 September “Meet Me in St Louis”

24 October “Brief Encounter”

28 November “The Snowman” + “Father Christmas”

Young Adults

Most of the group are aged between 25 and 35. One Friday each month the group meets for  dinner after the service at The LJS. For more details, please contact the office: ljs@ljs.org

Other past activities include walks on the Heath, quiz nights at pubs, volunteering together, attending plays and movies, and study sessions.

People participate in YA activities for many reasons. Some are looking for a group to celebrate Jewish holidays with because their family does not live nearby, some are looking to hang out with a group of people who also care about finding the best smoked salmon in town, and some are looking for a place to have discussions about current events seen through a Jewish lens.

All young adults are welcome, whether you are a member, non-member, Jewish or non-Jewish.