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Leap of Faith

By the time you read this issue of Bimah, you should have received a letter explaining the decision of Council to make a ‘leap of faith’ in seeking to appoint a full time rabbi.  In doing so Council has recognised that while the current arrangements at Woodford are not broken, they are no longer fit for purpose.

Woodford as a Synagogue, a Congregation, and as a Community has changed radically over the last three or four years.

There have been many successes – most of them celebrated in the pages of this publication – at the centre of those successes is the vision and drive of Richard Jacobi.  The recent Siyyum Torah service, celebrated in this issue of Bimah, is an excellent example of how Richard, having seen the need to do something, has mobilised the Community to deliver the required change – in so doing the Woodford Community of today now has a legacy to pass on to the Woodford Community of the future.

There is still so much more to be done – not least of which is the restoration of the other Torah scrolls at Woodford.  However, if we are to build on the successes of recent years; if Woodford is to continue to grow; if today’s Woodford is really to leave a legacy for the future of Liberal Judaism is the Woodford area – we must demonstrate our belief in that future.  This is why Council has decided that we need to end the cycle of appointing rabbis on short term appointments and on a part time basis.  Council – the Woodford Community and its Rabbi – must commit to each other.

It is my hope that by the time you have read this article, and celebrated the latest Woodford success story, we will have made that commitment.  If that is the case – then Richard can go on his sabbatical knowing that when he returns (no doubt re-invigorated from his break) the Community that he has helped nurture in the last four years, will be ready to welcome him home and committed to a shared future.


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