Muswell Hill Synagogue
Tzav 22/23 March 2019 6.02pm 7.06pm

Great Get Together 2017!

On the Shabbat 17th June 2017 Muswell Hill Synagogue took part in the Great Get Together weekend. The synagogue threw open their doors and invited the local community to a ‘street kiddush’ to celebrate the legacy of Jo Cox and to express to all who came that “we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us” (Jo Cox MP, Maiden Speech to Parliament). Over 200 people from the synagogue and the local community joined the ‘street kiddush’ and enjoyed the food and company. Special effort were made by all to chat with someone knew and many remarked how wonderful it was to get to know new people.

We were honoured to host Chris Honor, world renowned chef, for the event. His scrumptious and exotic cakes, prepared in the synagogue kitchen under the supervision of Rabbi David, were a highlight of the event.

Chris commented afterwards:

First and foremost thank you so much for a great opportunity to be a part of something so wonderful. In this day and age, with all the complication which comes with different cultures religion, races and creeds all living together, it is such a wonderful thing to sit down at a table and just eat.  It is remarkable that over the simplest of cake we somehow become all equal and we find that one thing which we all love and have in common is great food. It is something magical that you can be a street sweeper or king and somehow all barriers are broken down by a shared meal.

Rabbi David Mason commented:

I was delighted and honoured that we could host the Great Get Together on our Synagogue premises on Shabbat. Inviting members of the local community to come and share a street party Kiddush with us was so special and I was thrilled that so many came. As a Jewish community, we always need to be watchful and take security seriously. But to literally open our gates to those who live on our street was of such great symbolic value, that we as an Orthodox Jewish community care greatly about the relations we build with those around us. Many who were there, both our own members and local individuals expressed how important this get together was given the recent traumatic events in our county. Much appreciation goes to the Chief Rabbi’s Office for their kind support, and of course to Brendan Cox for this amazing idea which we hope will become an annual occasion. We really were delighted that our Great Get Together could be a fitting tribute to the late Jo Cox MP.

Karen Ackerman, Chair of the Synagogue, commented:

This Shabbat it was such a pleasure to invite our neighbours to share wonderful cakes and other refreshments with us. It summed up what the Great Get Together was all about, sharing what you have in common with your neighbours, to reach out and to build new relationships. At Muswell Hill Synagogue we pride ourselves on being a warm, welcoming and inclusive community and this was a wonderful way for us to share that warmth and welcome with our close neighbours.

As one of our community members summed it up in a thank you email

“Thank you so much for a wonderful community kiddush yesterday. It was a really thoughtful initiative and I hope it was a success. Rabbi David’s speeches – in Shul and also during the kiddush were both very moving and perfectly expressed how people are feeling after so much bad news of late. I am very proud to have him represent me and grateful for his leadership.”

The event was kindly supported by the Chief Rabbi’s Centre for Community Excellence.

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