Kingston, Surbiton & District Synagogue
In a joint leadership role, Rabbi Samuel Landau and his wife Shoshana share communal duties.
When was it founded?
The shul was built in 1957 although services were held there many years earlier.
How large is the congregation?
There are around 330 members.
What does the synagogue offer young families?
Our rabbinic couple are in their mid-20s with a one-year-old child. They organise frequent youth trips and family events. The cheder holds parents’ socials and there’s a ‘mums and tots’ group. Shul members were instrumental in founding Mosaic, the cross-communal Jewish primary school, which is moving in September to a new site in Roehampton. There is a monthly young adults group meeting.
Is there a cheder?
Yes, Kingston cheder has 25 children from a toddler class up to GCSE Jewish studies level (ages four to 15). We also have cheder Shabbatot, in which the children take an active part in services.
Tell us one interesting fact about the synagogue we may not know
We host the biggest Yom Ha’Atzmaut party in south London, with live music, community singing and dancing and an Israeli-style buffet. This year, more than 120 people attended from all over London. Our Holocaust Memorial Day programmes, run jointly with Kingston Liberal synagogue, attract some 1,000 school pupils annually and have a powerful impact. Our Mayoral Shabbat and remembrance service is the only annual faith event in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames borough involving civic leaders in a non-Christian setting.
Tell us about upcoming events you have planned
A communal Shavuot lunch, the Ladies Guild annual dinner with a guest speaker, and many regular activities, such as Shabbat Shalom programme, cheder for grown-ups (educational programme) the Israeli dancing group, Riverside Club for the over 60s, Rambling group, kaddish club and book circle.
What are the highlights of your Shabbat morning kiddush?
Connoisseur malt whiskies and occasional hot kiddushim with soup, kugel and hot apple pie.
Shul website: www.ksds.org.uk