An Inclusive Service
On Saturday 28th November, Woodford Liberal Synagogue celebrated its first ever Inclusive Service. Using a specially designed Shabbat Shelanu prayer booklet and a progress board to help everyone attending follow the service. Imaginative use of images, musical instruments, and tallit also encouraged everyone to fully take part. Some of our Cheder children lead the congregation through a signed version of the Shema – which you can see on this YouTube video.
Members of the Woodford community volunteered to greet, assist or guide guest through the service. As the photos show, there was also an activity involving printing the letter Shin and writing blessings, which were pinned onto two boards: How are you a blessing and How are you blessed? In this way the whole community could share their blessings with each other.
For many of those attending, the most moving part of the service was when groups of families and friends gathered under their Tallits – like tents in the desert – to be blessed and bless each other.
Afterwards, many of our members said how much they enjoyed the service – as did all of our visitors. Of course, we ended the service with a celebratory kiddish where members, guests and their carers reflected on what was a very special Shabbat.