If you are thinking of joining SAMS, we’ll be happy to have you! Just click this button below to contact us!
If you have any questions, the most common ones we get are answered below. If your question isn’t covered here. by all means let us know via the contact form from the button above (or calling us at 01727 860642) and we’ll be in touch!
Joining a synagogue community can be a daunting experience, especially if you have just moved into the area or have not been to a service for some time, or you are used to a more liberal or more orthodox approach.
As a Masorti community, we are bound by Halacha (Jewish law), but we are a non-judgemental group and we allow members to find their own way and their own level of participation. Most people who come along to a service or social event are pleasantly surprised at how welcome they feel.
Is SAMS for you? A great way to find out is to come and experience one of our services or events for yourself.
SAMS helps people to convert to Judaism through the offices of the European Masorti Bet Din.
Conversion is a big step, but at the same time, for anyone who is serious about it, it is our pleasure and duty to provide help and encouragement in every way we can – and there are a number of members who have successfully converted to Judaism with SAMS’ help in recent years.
Converting to Judaism cannot be taken lightly, and it does not happen quickly. We do not set out to make it easy, but we do set out to make it achievable, meaningful and rewarding. For us, the point of conversion is not to be Jewish, but to become Jewish: the journey, not just the destination, has to be worthwhile.
A number of families in the community have one Jewish parent and one non-Jewish parent. SAMS welcomes them and, while recognising that this can be a challenge, helps find a way to make it work.
For non Jewish partners of our members we have created ‘Friend of SAMS’. For a modest monthly fee, a Friend of SAMS is entitled to the full burial rights of their Jewish partner, to Members’ rates for events and are added to our distribution lists.
Many non-Jewish spouses of our members, although not members themselves, still play an important and very active role in the life of the community. We would never try to convert them (though obviously we’d support them if they wanted to) and, while they naturally cannot take part in the ritual aspects of services, they are very much part of our community.
SAMS has our own burial society – chevra kadisha – that works alongside the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS) to provide traditional funerals for all members who want one.
In addition, the JJBS has acquired a freehold parcel of land, so both woodland and separate mixed-faith burials are possible. This is the first time that woodland burials are available in a Jewish cemetery in the UK. Members can now choose to be buried in an ecologically friendly way in a natural environment surrounded by newly planted trees.
Our members have peace of mind that, through the synagogue and affiliation to the JJBS, we can provide a Jewish burial for all.
Normally funerals are conducted at Western Synagogue Cemetery, Bulls Cross Ride, Cheshunt EN7 5HT.
The JJBS Woodland Cemetery at Cheshunt – which is located adjacent to the existing JJBS cemetery at Bulls Cross Ride – is now fully operational. Funerals for non-Jewish partners of members in either the woodland area or the lawn cemetery are also available.
If you have any questions concerning burial, please contact the SAMS office for more details by calling us on 01727 860642 or use the contact form.
If you need to make emergency contact concerning a bereavement, please call the synagogue office on the above number or the JJBS on 020 8989 5252.