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My Woodford

April 6, 2013

I remember the first time I walked into that oddly shaped building in Marlborough Road.

It was a Friday night service and there were children running about with pillows, it was a nice atmosphere.  I can just about remember thinking that this would be a nice place to have my bat mitzvah.  However I did not imagine that in the future our family would be so involved with the every day life of the synagogue.

Woodford is the community I feel closest too and even now, while I am at university, it is usually where I end up whenever I visit home.  It is where I have met and made some of my closest friendships; without being as involved to the extent that I have been I don’t think I would be the person I am today.

Becoming a Cheder teacher helped me develop new skills – including embarrassing myself for four years in row in annual Purim Spiels!  Now I don’t claim to be an actor or singer or creative at all but Purim is the one time of year that if I can I will be a part of the experience.

This year I could not take part in the Spiel due to my studies but my brother did take part – keeping up the tradition of having a Kamall acting in the Spiel – Sam would not admit this but I do think he quite likes acting.  I have seen the photos, the videos, and heard various reports – so I know that the spiel was an amazing success.

When Dad was elected Chair he became even more involved with the synagogue – not that he didn’t already spend a lot of time doing things for Council or helping me setting up Cheder activities.  I also got to do interesting things such as sit in on Council meetings and have serious conversations about how the Shul is run. (Which interests me, don’t ask me why and no I will not be following in my father’s footsteps).

Being the daughter of the Chair of the synagogue means two things; firstly, you get involved in all sorts of Synagogue related things.  Secondly, it gets a bit lonely when you can’t participate in events that are so close to your heart.  Woodford is very much a part of not only my life but the whole families – did I mention that mum is Chair of the New Generations committee, and uses the Bimah calendar to plan the rest of the week?  Or how my grandma has become an honorary Jew, bringing her friends to Friendship Club and joining the community in Prague!  Sam not only teaches at Cheder (so has to act in the Purim Spiel), he has also brought his girlfriend, Eli, into our shul based life and now she too teaches at Cheder.

So, Woodford means a lot to me and my family.  It is always there to support me, encouraged me to stretch myself as a teacher or acting the fool within the safety of its walls.  Most importantly, Woodford still makes sure that I feel a part of the community even when I can’t be there.

Rachel Kamall

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