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Thousands Converge on UK Chabad Centres over the Holiday Period

Wednesday, 22 September, 2010 - 7:16 am

jcrh.jpgThousands of people descended on Chabad centres across the UK to enjoy meals, services and classes over the High Holiday period.

In Central London, Rabbi Yisroel Lew, director of Chabad of Bloomsbury, ran a programme of explanatory Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in conjunction with West End Great and Western Marble Arch congregations.

"We experienced a large number of people - young and old - participating in our services," said Rabbi Lew.

Over 250 people also turned out to festive meals at Chabad of Bloomsbury over Rosh Hashanah. When not serving meals and leading services, Rabbi Lew was kept busy blowing shofar for the ill and bedbound at University College Hospital and Great Olmond Hospital for Children.

In West London, more than 60 students and young professionals attended a pre-Yom Kippur meal at Chabad of South Kensington, with explanatory services held over the fast day, organised by Rabbi Mendy and Sara Loewenthal.

"You have allowed people to do a Yom Kippur as it should be done," said one of those in attendance.

Whitefield Chabad in Manchester welcomed over 180 people in the run up to the New Year for a shofar making workshop.

The event, organised in conjunction with Tzivos Hashem, saw parents and children constructing their own shofars from a raw ram’s horn.

"Adults worked alongside their kids... It was very interactive," said Rabbi Shmuli Jaffe, director of Whitefield Chabad director.

l5.jpgLeeds Jewish Women's Circle welcomed a capacity crowd of over 50 women who filled the Lubavitch Centre for a 'Knead a Break' event where women learned how to braid challahs in preparation for Rosh Hashanah.

JWC organiser Dabrushy Pink explained the significance of challah and showed the women how to make traditional challah dough. Help was on hand with local Rebbetzins Mrs Refson, Mrs Angyalfi, Mrs Cohen, Mrs Bell as well as Shellie Lester, Adina Graham and Rochel Cohen all showing their favourite braiding techniques.

Further north, Jews are preparing to brave the Scottish weather for Sukkot.

“This time of year can be really difficult. It’s either cold or raining, and when it’s not, we get wasps,” said Sora Jacobs, co-director of Chabad of Scotland in Glasgow.

However, the adverse weather won't put the Jacobs off as they prepare to welcome people to the sukkah they share with a local synagogue which can accommodate 300 people standing, or 150 sitting.


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