Looking for a warm and welcoming Jewish Community in Hertfordshire?
You’ve found one!
You’ve found one!
Hello from SAMS – St Albans Masorti Synagogue
We are a lively, warm and welcoming Jewish community within the Masorti movement, offering a centre for Jewish life in St Albans and the surrounding area. We provide our members many ways to enjoy a Jewish way of life: through education for all ages and a variety of services, activities and events throughout the year. We are a community that supports each other, reaches out to each other, worships, celebrates and learns together and helps each other lead a better life ... and we have a lot of fun.
Our website tells you all about SAMS. Whether you're a member, thinking of joining us, interested in Masorti Judaism or considering moving to the St Albans area and looking for a synagogue, please have a browse and then come along to see us in person!
SAMS Hebrew Course: 3 September 2014 until 8 July 2015
Due to popular demand, SAMS will be running a course in the Basic Understanding of Hebrew – reading and writing. The course will run on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. The course will run for an academic year. There will be a minimal charge for the course, to cover materials, which will be announced when we know how many people are interested.
SAMS Adult Discussions and Learning
The next three discussion and learning sessions will be:
Sunday 14 September – Same Sex Marriage - 7.30pm
Sunday 12 October – End of Life - 7.30pm
Sunday 9 November – Holy and Healthy - 7.30pm
Words from Rabbi Rafi regarding the current situation in Israel and Gaza
There is so much information out there, where does one decide what is factual, what is realand what is false? I for one am most concerned about the total one sidedness of the misinformation out there, the way in which critique of Israel has now devolved into serious and overt anti-Semitism boiling over and erupting on our streets. I have said in the past and I will say again, I have no problem with honest and factual critique of Israel. It is when that same standard is not applied evenly to others that it becomes anti-Semitism. I can add now, that when critique of Israel becomes condemnation of Jews in general, a line has been crossed and it is no longer an open dialogue but a vitriolic attack on us as a people. Perhaps you’ve heard about the Tricycle Theatre banning a Jewish Film Festival. Or the calls of Death to the Jews on the streets of Paris, Berlin, Australia, even in the US. Or the recent hate note pinned to a shul door in Kingston-Upon-Thames.
I do not want to hide behind the claim of anti-Semitism to deflect any honest critique but I will not abide nor stand idly by as our people are smeared and threatened, simply for being Jews. I call on you all to help me in continuing to try to reach out, in friendship, to do our part to achieve a lasting peace and build a real productive relationship with our friends and neighbours here. Let us, as we do so in our own community, raise the level of dialogue to one of holiness and love, not hatred.
A few ideas for action, sent on by the Jewish Leadership Council as the Board of Deputies:
1)Write to your MP. Many MP’s have been overwhelmed by the correspondence that they have received criticising Israel or advocating boycotts and sanctions. Correspondence has a real impact. Make sure our MP hears what you think. If you support the fundamental right of Israel to exist, in the right of its citizens to security and in the essential duty of its democratically elected government to ensure that security, write to oremail your MP. Ask them to refer your letter to the Foreign Secretary. Your letter can be as short or as simple as you like. The names of MP’s and their contact details can be found, together with examples of letters at www.webelieveinIsrael.org.uk
2)Don’t sit in silence if you feel that the media misrepresents Israel If you see or hear coverage in the media that misrepresents Israel or the Community, is unbalanced or doesn’t tell the whole story about the current conflict, tell the relevant channel or publication that you are unhappy with their coverage and what the truth is – you can complain privately to editors or publicly to newspaper letters pages and radio call-in shows. There are key messages and facts at www.webelieveinIsrael.org.uk together with contact details for the main media organisations.
I pray for the day when peace, real peace, will be established and we can live together in harmony with our brothers and sisters.