Review of Last Year
The Services Committee is responsible for the planning and operation of all Synagogue services in conjunction with the Rabbis, Wardens and Council.
The Committee has had a change to its Terms of Reference during this year. The Committee now comprises of the Rabbis, all Wardens including Assistants, the Director of Education, the Director of Music, the High Holyday Co-ordinator and the Festivals Co-ordinator and the Chairman. These are all voting members. The Chairman and Honorary Officer responsible for the Services Committee and all other interested members of the Community are always welcome to attend.
The Committee meets quarterly and at each meeting both the Senior Rabbi and Senior Warden present their reports.
During the course of the year we again held approximately 300 services. This figure includes our regular erev and morning Shabbat services, Sunday morning Shacharit services and a variety of services for young people of all ages, as well as our many High Holyday and festival services. The Tiny Tots service is held twice a month and there is also a regular weekly service for 6 – 10 year olds where, once a month for this age group, the service is led by Student Rabbi Emily Jurman. This service is a largely sung service and known as Shabbat Shira.
There will have been 30 Bnei Mitzvot by the end of 2012. We again also celebrated ‘second’ Barmitzvahs for some of our members. This year we held a special Shabbat service to honour the EDRS staff which was well received by all who attended .
As in previous years our Shabbat Services have been greatly enhanced by the Choir.
This year we had a very successful Civic Service when we welcomed several local dignitaries. We also held our usual AJEX service.
Although the Religion School manages Children’s and Youth Services, the committee has considerable input into the timing and format of these services.
We continue to assist the Rabbis in leading Shiva prayers for mourners within the community.
High Holydays remain the hardest services to run logistically but with the support of the High Holyday co-ordinator, the office staff, Wardens and Rabbis all proceeded well. Again this year our two Rabbis did not have additional rabbinic support and lay readers assisted with the continuity of the services. As usual, the spirit of the services was appreciated by the Community. There is always room for improvement and the committee analyses these services extremely carefully, often giving positive recommendations for future years.
The wardens continue to give considerable time and effort to ensure that all services run smoothly. Many of their responsibilities are undertaken without obvious public notice, particularly their work with Bar/Batmitzvah families.
The Services Committee expresses its thanks to all those people, too numerous to mention individually, who have assisted in maintaining the spirituality and organisation of all our services.
When planning our services for the year, the committee have considered the Charity Commission’s guidance on Public Benefit and, in particular, the specific guidance on charities for the advancement of religion. EDRS is committed to enabling as many people as possible to pray in our Synagogue and we welcome new members as well as visitors, including those of different faiths. Our committee believes that thereby we maintain our Public Benefit commitment.