The Wider Community
Our congregation is part of the wider community; in particular we play a role in the wider community of Radlett, the surrounding areas from which we draw our members, as well as the wider Jewish community.
Our synagogue is situated in a location that has the highest proportion of Jewish residents in the country according to the 2011 national census. We aim to play our part in the locality, and promote good relations with all our neighbours.
We welcome visits to our synagogue by local schools. We take part in cross-communal events, like the annual Remembrance Day service at the Radlett War Memorial, and Rabbi Paul Freedman visits events at local churches, and their representatives visit our synagogue. He has given talks with local church leaders, for example on biblical subjects, each from their own perspective. Our choir has given joint concerts with local church choirs.
We attend meetings at Aldenham Parish Council with representatives of local faiths which seek to promote understanding and community within Radlett. These meetings aim to promote respect for people in general as well as respect for different religious groupings. We also send a representative to the Hertsmere Forum of Faiths, which aims to inform Hertsmere Borough Council thinking on issues that affect members of local religious faiths.
Our members are active in the local branch of the Council for Christians and Jews which meets regularly. Amongst other events, the CCJ has organised visits to a local mosque, a Buddhist monastery and a Hindu temple.
Every month, we have a food collection to support local homeless and other disadvantaged people, through Watford New Hope, a Christian charity. We also have regular collections for the Borehamwood Food Bank, supporting local people in crisis.
Annual High Holy Day Appeal
Each year we support a range of charities near and far with our appeal. We try and support a local charity, a national charity, one in Israel as well as our own community.
Tikkun Olam / Social Action
The regular collection of food and toiletries for the homeless and the needy is much appreciated, donations are taken to the Watford New Hope homeless shelter and the Borehamwood Food Bank, please leave your items in the box in the lobby.
Reform Judaism (RJ)
As a synagogue we are affiliated to Reform Judaism (RJ).
We are the 4th largest community within this movement consisting of 44 synagogues.
Reform Judaism provides support at all levels to the communities within the Movement. Many of our young people belong to its youth movement RSY-Netzer (Reform Synagogue Youth), enjoying trips, challenges, schemes, summer and winter camps and Israel tour.
Radlett Reform Synagogue is committed to engagement with other faiths, and to promoting mutual understanding between Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and the different religions within our society and our local community.
In particular, we support and actively participate in the work of the Radlett & District branch of the Council of Christians and Jews.
We attend meetings of the Aldenham Interfaith Forum with Parish Councillors and representatives of local faiths which seek to promote constructive dialogue within Radlett.
The synagogue is also represented at the Hertsmere Forum of Faiths, which informs Hertsmere Borough Council thinking on issues that affect members of local religious groups.
Radlett Reform participates in the annual Mitzvah/Community Action Day event – contributing to improving the needs of people in need (working with Watford New Hope) and the local environment.
Mitzvah Day is in November.
Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ)
The Council of Christians and Jews is Britain’s oldest national Inter-Faith organisation.
It was established in 1942 to promote religious and cultural understanding between Christians and Jews; to work for the elimination of religious and racial prejudice, hatred and discrimination, particularly anti-Semitism; and to promote religious and racial harmony on the basis of ethical and social teachings common to Christianity and Judaism.
This is still the main thrust of our work. However the Britain of the early 21st Century is very different demographically and in its faith mix from the mid 20th Century.
CCJ has responded to these changes in that whilst its emphasis is still on the Christian – Jewish dynamic; it works within a multi faith context and will have interface with Muslims, Hindus and other religions as part of its practical project work.
The Radlett & District branch was founded in 1985 and a Radlett Reform member is joint Chairman of the branch. We hold five or six meetings a year and are pleased to welcome visitors to all our events. Most of our meetings are free of charge (except for a modest charge for our annual Seasonal Celebration) and, with the exception of occasional visits to non Jewish/Christian communities, are held in Radlett.
At our November meeting , we marked Mitzvah Day, by donating to the Borehamwood Food Bank. This was following a fascinating talk by Rev Richard Leslie about the vicars in 4 generations of his family and how he came to set up the Forum of Faiths in Hertsmere and was subsequently instrumental in the establishment of the Borehamwood Food Bank. He went on to describe the workings of the food bank and its ongoing need for those in crisis.
Young@Herts, under the sponsorship of Jewish Care, is a group that plans social activities for the over 55s in Hertfordshire’s Jewish communities.
It runs its own programme of regular activities, including line dancing, walks, theatre visits and outings, as well as selected events in partnership with Hertfordshire-based synagogues.