Reform celebrates first communal Shabbat

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Reform celebrates first communal Shabbat

An Alyth community Challah Bake
An Alyth community Challah Bake

The Movement for Reform Judaism last week celebrated its own Shabbat series of events alongside those in United Synagogue communities, after Movement leaders said its involvement came in response to demand.

An Alyth community Challah Bake
An Alyth community Challah Bake

Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said: “It was wonderful to be aligned with other members of the British Jewish community celebrating Shabbat,” adding: “As Reform Jews, we celebrate Shabbat in different ways.”

Toolkits and resources were sent out to communities to help observe Shabbat at home, with packs including “postcards to stimulate discussion” as well as a children’s quiz. 

Some of the communities that participated were Bournemouth, Edgware, Finchley, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Wanstead saw challah baking, communal meals, special services, home hospitality and learning programmes.

Abraham & Sarah before and after baking
Abraham & Sarah before and after baking

A highlight was the Shabbat service and dinner for 50 young adults professionals from Alyth, Edgware, Finchley and Hendon at the Sternberg Centre in north London. “It was a warm, inclusive and sociable Jewish environment,” said Reform Rabbi Benji Stanley.

Elsewhere, Alyth’s Kabbalat Service heard from Donna Rothbart, who recalled Shabbat evenings at her childhood home in Yemen, whilst Henry Levy recalled being blessed in Zimbabwe.  

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: