A new representative for the women of Muswell Hill Shul
This year we have a new development in our warden team. Not only do we have three fabulous wardens who are doing a great job organising our services but Helen Style has also developed a new part of her role as Muswell Hill representative to US Women. As part of her role, she is meeting regularly with the wardens to ensure that the women’s perspective is considered when service plans are being discussed.
In the last meeting held with the wardens, a few decisions were made. The first was that Helen will take responsibility for choosing our next Callat Torah, the women we want to honour for their role in shul life. These women will be honoured at Shavuot and are certainly well deserving recipients.
A new policy was also put in place that girls post Batmitzvah can read the Prayer for the Royal Family or State of Israel in English if a family wants them to be part of the service for a Bar/Bat mitzvah or other family celebration.
Helen is liaising with a team including Ruth Teacher, Judith Devons, Elisheva Mason to make sure plans are in place for women’s services for the coming year and they are also exploring the idea of a guide for women’s services that can be used by families arranging Bat Mitzvah services for women.
If you have any ideas for women’s activities at shul then .
Our Rosh Chodesh group, is a group of women who meet every month to hear speakers and for discussions. they recently discussed ideas to engage women more in the service and discussed the following ideas:
1- We can all gain in Jewish knowledge – individually and/or by forming a study group.
2 – We can improve our level of Hebrew in conversation groups.
3 – We can learn to say kaddish.
4 – We can acquire practical skills for the women’s services, such as leyning and leading davening.
5 – We can bring courses from LSJS (the London School of Jewish Studies).
6 – We can design and publicise a bat mitzvah programme – with booklets for families that incorporate a commitment for the girl that goes beyond the bat mitzvah year – eg reading at least 3 verses at least twice over the following two years.
7 – We can form a focus group – parents and youth – to find out what they want and how to make it exciting.
8 – We can create intergenerational learning programme – perhaps including shared films, discussions on moral issues, etc.
9 – We can have a women’s kaddish co-ordinator for women to offer 5-min communal learning in someone’s memory – as well as kaddish.
10 – We can have a baby blessing co-ordinator for women to write something to say communally.
11 – We can organise women’s readings of Ruth, Shir Hashirim and Kohelet at the appropriate festivals.