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The LJS Council and its committees

The Council

The LJS Council is the beating heart at the centre of our Synagogue. Entirely run by dedicated members of long standing, they oversee the smooth running of the synagogue building and cemetery, and are kept up to date by the following volunteer-led committees: 

AvodahBuildings & Facilities, Cemetery, Communications & MarketingEducation, Finance, Heritage, and Membership



Avodah Committee

The LJS cherishes meaningful, shared worship (Avodah) and dynamic spiritual engagement within the context of Liberal Judaism.  The Avodah Committee brings congregants together with the Rabbis and the Director of Music to support the synagogue in providing meaningful, spiritually uplifting and vibrant services.

The Avodah Committee seeks to:
•    offer advice and assistance to those involved in planning and providing services and other events in the life of the congregation;
•    popularise and implement changes which have been agreed with the rabbis;
•    act as a platform for dialogue between congregants and the Rabbinic team;
•    solicit views from congregation about our services and act as a conduit of congregants views;
•    consider specific issues and suggest potential ideas for future events;
•    consider alternative services and liturgy where appropriate;
•    suggest areas for further training of participants in services, including shammashim, and other ways to improve the experience of all at services;
•    keep the schedule for future services under continuous review

Buildings and Facilities Committee

The Buildings and Facilities committee continuously examines the fabric of the synagogue and cemetery to identify areas for renewal or repair and ensures they remain in the condition expected of them. The committee develops plans for repairs and maintenance of the synagogue and cemetery (together with the Cemetery committee) and co-ordinates expenditure requirements with the available budget. It also ensures that work is completed in accordance with statutory requirements.
Examples of past works include: 
•      installation of a professional-standard kitchen; 
•      re-sanding and repairs to the bimah; 
•      complete renovation of the ground- & upper-floor toilet facilities; 
•      replacement of the boilers; and 
•      installation of a new telephone system. 
Work is also needed to:
•      comprehensively upgrade the IT system to improve desk-top administration, live-streaming of services, facilitate online learning, improve the security system and many other benefits
•      provide additional toilets in the basement to serve rooms used by the Rimon school
•      provide charging points for electric vehicles
•      improve air-conditioning within the sanctuary

Once drawn up, plans for these items will be progressed on a “value-for-money” basis as financial resources become available.
As expected with older buildings, unexpected challenges and urgent maintenance work occasionally arise and the Buildings and Facilities committee ensures that these are dealt with as required.

Cemetery Committee

The Cemetery committee ensures that our Members, Friends and non-Members of the LJS have a dignified and meaningful funeral, conducted by one of our Rabbis. In addition, they ensure that the grounds of the Cemetery are kept to the highest standard and keeping the grass cut, the roses trimmed and the weeds under control is a constant challenge, particularly during the summer months.

The committee's main role is to ensure the continuing upkeep and maintenance of the large grounds and Prayer Hall alongside the provision of burials and cremations.

If you wish to know more about the Pound Lane Cemetery, please click HERE

If you require specific information about bereavements, please click HERE


Communications & Marketing Committee

The Communications & Marketing committee is the newest members' group at the LJS. Its responsibilities ensure that the information sent out on behalf of the synagogue is clear and consistent, and covers all areas from our emails, to newsletters, and even our website!




Education Committee

The Education Committee oversees the educational pursuits of the synagogue, including Rimon, and welcomes Rimon parents who would like to become involved.

There are 120 students who attend the Rimon religion school, and our Kabbalat Torah graduates come back to Rimon as teaching assistants, which illustrates the positive legacy of their experience.

Adult education has been eventful this year. Some of the highlights of the programme for 2019-2020 were the Seminars on Anti-Semitism and the short course, Gospels and Rabbinic Judaism. This was the LJS at its best; cutting edge, stimulating, interfaith and intercultural.

Links between Rimon and other sections of the synagogue continue to develop. KT teenagers help at the KIT Tea Party each year, giving the generations of the LJS the opportunity to enjoy and learn from each other, while KT teens also help regularly at the LJS Drop in for Asylum Seekers. Our termly L’Dor va-Dor (inter-generational) Services are another significant opportunity for the community and Rimon to join together for worship and prayer. Rimon work closely with LJY Netzer who run many activities for our children.

Rimon has successfully transferred its operation online during the current lockdown and will continue to provide high quality education for children, whether on or offline, in the coming year.

Finance Committee

The role of the Finance Committee is to advise Council on all financial matters. Members of the committee include the two Honorary Treasurers, the Council chairman, Council members and LJS members invited for their expertise and knowledge.

The committee deals with a wide range of financial issues including discussing management and annual accounts, cash flows, the refurbishment of the building and ways to raise additional income from the existing assets of the LJS.

The Investment Committee is a sub-committee of the Finance Committee.




Heritage Committee

Liberal Judaism is a developing movement. As Liberal Jews, we constantly seek to explore Jewish traditions, texts and values in the context of present-day realities. We are very much a movement for the future.

This does not mean that we ignore our history, which is very much part of what we are as a synagogue. To ensure that we identify all the historical assets so that these may continue to be employed as necessary and protected for future generations, the LJS now has a Heritage Committee. This brings together the valuable work that was already being undertaken by the Library Committee and the Archives group, but aims to integrate this with other artifacts.

The Committee meets quarterly and has started by identifying all the historical elements – not all of which are immediately apparent. They include our Torah scrolls, Judaica including ritual objects, Library, archives (including papers, minutes, sermons, eulogies, booklets and photographs), pictures, tapestry and, of course, our Shoah Memorial. There is also a need to develop a satisfactory method of storing electronic records (including sound recordings). 

There are plans to enhance the displays on the ground floor so that they may add to the knowledge of those who see them and, we hope, help fire their enthusiasm for not just our present and future, but also our past. As in life generally we ignore the past at our peril: it can inform our future so well.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee runs several Meet The Rabbis events which are very well received as they are organised by congregants in their homes for the congregation. It provides a wonderful opportunity for new members not only to meet the Rabbis, but also members and friends in their immediate area and to welcome them into the community.

There are also New Members’ events on Shabbat mornings where people are invited to attend a breakfast, and also take part in the service.

A committee member attends the first day of each Rimon Term to welcome parents and children, and to call each new member to welcome them into the community.

Fri, 11 September 2020 22 Elul 5780