faq

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What services do you hold?

Answer. We normally hold synagogue services two to three times a month - with some Friday night and some Shabbat morning services. For dates of future services check the what's on page. 

Who runs the services?

Answer. As a small Congregation we don’t have a Rabbi. Services are lead by lay-leaders – although we do invite Rabbinic Students to run some services and to help us at High Holy Days. Most other facilities and ‘services’ are run and managed by our Management Committee.

Where is the Synagogue?

Answer. We don’t have a synagogue building. However we meet regularly at a local community centre – and occasionally in members' houses. Please make contact using our talk to us page or through a committee member for more information if you want to come along to a service or other activity.
2021 update - due to COVID 19, all of our services and events will be on-line using Zoom. This is under regular review with a hope to restart face-to-face services and meetings as soon as possible. 

Do you have a Cheder?

Answer. We don’t currently run a Cheder for children - but we do liaise with parents to help organise some Jewish education for the few children currently within our Community. However if numbers of children increase, a Cheder could be re-started if there is sufficient demand. 

What's the score with High Holy Days?

Answer. We normally run our HHD services ourselves – often with the assistance of Rabbinic Students studying at Leo Baeck College (in London). We also organise celebrations or parties at Sukkot, Chunukah, Purim and some other occasions. Our Communal Seder on the 2nd night of Pesach is normally very well supported - by members and non-members alike. A recent Communal Seder attracted more than 50 persons. Not bad for a small community! 

Do you have a newsletter?

Answer. We have a Newsletter that is called ‘Omer’. (this a Hebrew word with two meanings – Omer with an ayin – meaning ‘sheaf’ – as in corn – which is a symbol of Sheffield; Omer with an aleph means ‘ to say’ – which is what our newsletter is for of course). It now comes out approximately every quarter – and is well read by our members and across the Jewish Community in Sheffield. Non-members may subscribe for a small annual donation. Current and back copies (in pdf format – which can be read in Acrobat reader) are also available in a slightly revised format if you Contact Us directly. 

Do you run conversion courses?

Answer. Although we don’t have our own conversion course, we can make arrangements with our nearest Reform Rabbis, at Sinai Synagogue in Leeds or one of the Manchester Reform synagogues. If you might be interested, please Contact Us for more details. 

Do you perform circumcisions?

Answer. People, including non-members, often contact us about the Circumcision of their new (or soon to arrive) baby boy. We don’t have a ‘Mohel’ (someone who carries out circumcisions) in Sheffield - but we can put you in touch with a Mohel In Leeds or Manchester. Reform ‘Mohelim’ are generally Jewish doctors who have had special training to carry out this special ritual, rather than Rabbis. Please talk to us if you require more details.

So what is a Reform Synagogue?

Answer. The Congregation is affiliated to the Movement for Reform Judaism (MRJ) - formerly called RSGB (the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain). MRJ provide us with assistance and support in many areas of synagogue activity. For more information on MRJ - check out the Reform Judaism web site - which also includes an on-line forum where visitors can ask questions - or post information for other members to see. 

What about funeral /burial facilities?

Answer. Through an arrangement with Sheffield City Council we administer our own Jewish Cemetery – in a section of a City Council cemetery. We also participate in a Reform movement burial insurance scheme that is available to all our members. We have recently introduced a separate mixed-faith area in our cemetery (to allow members to be laid to rest with their non-Jewish partner - in some specific circumstances).   

Do you have any books and reading services?

Answer. 

Book Club
We have been running a small Jewish Book Club for several years. Participants read a book and then discuss it together. We would welcome others joining this group - or maybe helping to form a second Book Club group? In any case, we would welcome other people reading the books – and commenting or reviewing them.

Open Book Club
A newer Jewish book club - which is also open to people who are not members of our Congregation

Library without Shelves
As we don’t have a synagogue building, we also don’t have a physical library. However our members have many books and magazines of Jewish interest – and some are available for loan. More details will be available on this later.