First ever Family Service at BES@Croxdale

by Lara Lipsey, Vice Chair BES@Croxdale

Yesterday we held our first ever Family Service at BES@Croxdale. Despite the pouring rain, the room was packed to the rafters with adults and children, you could really feel the excitement about trying something new. From our youngest members, just months old, to our Year 6s on the cusp of starting secondary school and about to join the youth, everyone came together.

We combined our favourite songs and tefillot from all our different children’s services, so there was something everyone would recognise and join in with. With a choice of siddur and song sheet, the idea was that for an hour on Shabbat morning, families could come together to pray and to sit together for a service. Yes it was a tad noisy and there were kids running around, but that was the point, for them to feel at home in a service that they could learn, watch, join in and listen to.

For our younger members, there were the usual soft toy shabbat table items they’re familiar with on a carpet at the front, as well as books so they could come and sit themselves. We had stories, a quiz (led by the Year 6 kids), some yummy kiddush and a wonderful D’var Torah by Melanie (Jason) as well as the chance to hear Rabbi Alex Chapper lein and see the Sefer Torah up close. At the end, we were treated to a tuneful Mussaf from our very own Robert Sands. Thanks to many of our children’s service leaders for their help on the day but also for all the time and effort they put in week in and week out to these services.

Of course, no Shabbat morning service is complete without Anim Zemirot and making their shul debut were Eli and Theo (encouraged by proud parents Emma, Edward, Penina and Simon).

A huge thank you to Katie Matlin and Francesca Saltman for making this idea a reality as well as Rabbi Chapper for his words and support too, and to everyone who came along and participated.

We hope this will be the first of many!

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