Officials at Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue are planning the shul’s first autism-friendly Shabbat service, scheduled for before Rosh Hashanah.

Rabbis and educators decided to design a “neuro-diverse” service aimed at children with special needs on 16 September, after BES members at the new Gesher School got their heads together with the shul and the Office of the Chief Rabbi.

Lior Harel, Gesher’s head of Jewish studies, has joined forces with educator Michael Cohen and volunteer Rochelle Shorrick to work with Rabbi Chaim Kanterovitz “to make the service the very best in can be”.

Kanterovitz said: “Every journey starts with just one step but, through sharing best practice, developing programmes and with the support from the United Synagogue and Chief Rabbi, we want to provide a deeper and more inclusive synagogue experience for children with special needs and their families. After all, we are all created B’tzelem Elokim – in God’s image.”