Website of Yeshurun Synagogue, Edgware, United Kingdom Fernhurst Gardens, Edgware, HA8 7PH.
The Yeshurun Community
An orthodox Jewish congregation located in central Edgware, providing a welcoming environment for Jews of all observance levels.
Edgware Jewry traces back to the 1920s, following the extension to Edgware in 1924 of the underground railway’s Northern Line.
The first community was established in Edgware in 1927 which formed into the present Edgware United Synagogue. The Yeshurun community was established in 1946 by the Federation of Synagogues as a smaller more traditional and less establishment based alternative, and a shul on the present site in Fernhurst Gardens was consecrated in 1950.
The building we see today was the result of Yeshurun’s expansion in the ensuring 25 years and was officially opened in 1975. Further expansion and modernisation has taken place since, including the complete refurbishment of the Leff Hall in 2006.
Yeshurun is a mainstream Ashkenazi community, of some 350 families, many of whom have been established in Edgware for a number of years.
We are a traditional orthodox community whose spiritual and lay leaders refer to the Halachic authority of the Beth Din of the Federation of Synagogues.
Nevertheless, we believe it is important to welcome and encourage all Jews who wish to belong to our community, irrespective of their individual religious commitment. We therefore embrace and accommodate a wide spectrum of religious observance among our members. A majority, though by no means all, however are ‘shomrei shabbos’.
We believe in creating opportunities to pursue adult Jewish education at many different levels for both men and women. Under the guidance and leadership of Rabbi Alan Lewis, Yeshurun's Minister, a series of shiurim anddiscussion groups are available on each day of the week from those wanting basic levels of reading skills to advanced Gemora.
Most weeks see a gathering of Yeshurun's Women’s Seminary on Tuesday mornings.
We support the people of Israel and the Jewish homeland, whose welfare we pray for every week. Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim are celebrated in the Shul. Many of our children have continued their studies in Israel and developed strong ties there - some making Aliyah.
The synagogue prides itself on being “large enough to matter yet small enough to care”, and most members of the community are known to each other. Because of this, Yeshurun remains a very friendly place and few visitors in shul are not approached with a hearty Yeshurun welcome.
A number of new members from other communities have arrived and settled into Yeshurun’s fold in the last decade. We celebrate the good times together at one another’s Simchos and we support and console each other during the challenging times that all families endure.
We are committed to the wider Jewish community, and Yeshurun is not only an active constituent member of the Federation of Synagogues but frequently engages in cross communal activities amongst the other Edgware communities and beyond such as participation in communal Mishnayos learning programme and the annual Mitzvah Day.
Many of our members play active roles in Jewish communal activities, including schools, social welfare agencies and the Board of Deputies of British Jews as well as being individually successful in secular private practice, in corporate and government life and within the judiciary.
Our members have played a major role in establishing both the community eruvim and the mikvo’os.
Education, Culture and Welfare
The shul’s Torah life is evident, with shiurim and classes for Jewish education and learning taking place regularly both on and off the shul premises.
Women contribute to communal life through the Ladies Guild, which organises regular outings and cultural events, numerous charitable acts as well as the weekly kiddush. There is an active effort to embrace women more within the governance of the shul.
The welfare of the community’s members is organised by a team of volunteers called Yeshurun Cares. The Shul prides itself in having a confidential and highly discreet Gemach Fund that helps to support its most needy members who have fallen on hard times.
Spiritual and Lay Leadership
Yeshurun’s full time Rabbi and his wife – Rabbi Alan and Miriam Lewis and their eight children joined the community in 2006. Together, they provide a range of diverse pastoral, educational and outreach services within the community.
Yeshurun’s Emeritus Rabbi is Dayan Gershon Lopian. He and his wife Judy served the community for over thirty years before their retirement. They continue to be active members of our community and as an internationally recognised Posek (Halachic Authority) the Dayan continues to be consulted throughout the wider community.
Our part-time youth directors, David and Miriam Baigel took up their joint posting in September 2011.
The administrative task of running the Shul and its services and activities smoothly falls to its President, his fellow Honorary Officers and the Board of Management. The Board (with its women representatives) meets very regularly to plan and organise such activities.
Yeshurun also seeks women to participate in its governance in accordance with defined Halachic parameters.
Our part-time friendly office staff and our full-time caretaker support the community’s administration and wellbeing.
Our services follow the Ashkenazi tradition. We run daily services at the shul, with two morning minyanim each day, other than yomtov, and one evening minyan. There is a minchah service on Mondays to Thursday in the middle of the day.
Our Friday night service is often our biggest, with the whole community coming together to welcome the shabbos.
On Shabbos morning, we run two adult services: a hashkomah at 7.30am and the traditional service at 9.00am. Both services are followed by a kiddush. On yomtov, these services combine into one traditional service.
Our youth run their own services on shabbos and yomtov, led by our youth leaders, David and Miriam Baigel.
Our regular Baal Koreh (reader of the scrolls) is Russell Grossman, who recently celebrated 25 years as Baal Koreh at Yeshurun.
Yeshurun does not employ a chazzan (cantor) but we benefit from a talented group of both resident and visiting baalei tefilloh, some professionally trained. In this way, the style of the services is deliberately varied from week to week, serving the diverse tastes and needs of the community. Whoever is leading the service, we aim to finish a regular Shabbos morning service between 11.30am and 11.45am.
From time to time, we host the Kol Kehillah Choir – a choir comprising men from all the main orthodox shuls in the Edgware area and guest chazzanim and led by our own Colin Dworkin.
Children and Youth
Our children and youth have over the years been served by a variety of movements based in the synagogue premises including Bnei Akiva and Sinai youth groups.
There is always something going on.
The community’s youth leaders present a vibrant set of activities for under- and post-bar and bat mitzvah with a regular weekly youth club and special activities organised around yomtov time.
A majority of our children and youth attend Jewish schools and a proportion study at yeshivah and seminary before continuing with their university studies or beginning a vocational career. Yeshurun operates its own Yeshiva and Seminary Fund which provides bursaries to those children of the Edgware community who require such assistance in relation to their studies.
All youth and children activities are open to those of differing backgrounds and levels of religious observance.
The community benefits from two separate eruvim, to the west and east of the synagogue, which meet to form a wide area which encompasses the whole community, with the shul at the centre.
More details of the eruvim will be found on our eruv page.
Edgware is replete with kosher facilities and restaurants, further details of which will be found on our ‘Kosher In Edgware’ page.
There are four orthodox supervisory boards (KF – Kosher Federation, KLBD - London Beth Din, SKA - Sephardi and Kedassia) sponsored by the four orthodox synagogal organisations. Almost all members of the community will regard any of these supervisions as acceptable.
There are two mikvo’os in the Edgware area – one for women and one for utensils. The utensil mikveh (kayleigh mikveh) is on the Yeshurun premises. It is free to use but we ask for a donation. More details of the women’s mikveh will be found on the Mikveh page.