I am writing this in late July – the temperature is starting to climb and it looks like summer is finally arriving – but I know you will not read this until September.
It seems to me that we spend more and more of our time looking ahead to the next ‘event’. School holidays are about to start – so naturally the shops are full of school wear and the essentials necessary for the day when kids will go back to school. Two of our biggest department stores have already opened their Christmas shops! So it seems that ‘time flies’ ever faster as the years pass, when do we ever get the chance to stop to enjoy the now?
In the Jewish calendar the arrival of summer means it is time to start thinking of the upcoming High Holy Days – no doubt featured elsewhere in this issue of Bimah. Council at WLS has deliberated on what charities to support for the Kol Nidre appeals. This year will ask you to support myisrael and the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy – as well as our annual appeal for the restoration of the WLS Torah Scrolls.
myisrael is a new UK charity acting as an umbrella appeal for 18 charities in Israel, each doing amazing work, each desperate for funds and each virtually unknown in the UK. Since its launch in March 2008, funds donated through myisrael have touched the lives of more than 2,000 vulnerable children and adults across Israel. The overheads of myisrael are funded by a handful of specific donations so they promise that 100% of donations go directly to the charities they represent.
The London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy was first established as The Hornsey Trust for Handicapped Children in 1963 by Peter Rigby, then Mayor of Hornsey, and latterly became The Hornsey Trust for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Its aim initially was to provide education, training and leisure activities for people with learning difficulties. The London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy aims to inspire children with cerebral palsy to develop independence, confidence and self-esteem and to achieve their full potential. It will strive towards its vision by developing and maintaining a reputation as a centre of excellence which delivers high quality, pioneering, specialist education services to children with cerebral palsy and their families from across the London region.
WLS relies on a small cadre of hard working volunteers, who come together to support communal events throughout the year and are now being mobilised by our R&P committee to make sure that all of the Woodford community can come together to share the High Holydays.
I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the officers and council, to say thank you to all our volunteers. We know how much we rely on you to help out; we also recognise that Woodford would not function without your willingness to give so much back to the community. I would therefore like to make an appeal to all of you as members of WLS – and ask that you volunteer some of your time to help our community.
There are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved – but since we are always looking forwards to the next big event, perhaps we should think about one particular once in a lifetime event that is fast approaching.
We are now less than a year away from the London Olympics and the main Olympic site is on our doorstep. Woodford is the nearest Liberal Synagogue to the Olympic park – we need to think about what this means for us as a community and what we can do to help welcome the worldwide Jewish community coming to London in a year’s time. We should also be thinking about how we as a community can collectively celebrate this unique occasion.
The sooner we start to think about it, and the more people we have to help out, the more we can do as a community to commemorate “our” Olympics – so please let me, any member of council, or the office know if you are willing to help celebrate the Woodford Jewish Olympiad.
Wishing you a happy Yom Tov and well over the fast.