Leeds Masorti caters for a wide variety of ages and desires. We hold Onegs at members’ homes and services the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Community Centre. We celebrate “minor” Chagim with major events, such as our musical Chanukkah and theatrical Purim Parties, our Tu b’Shvat Seder, our ever popular Lag B’Omer bonfire and barbecue, our ice-cream and cheesecake laced Tikkun Shavuot. We meet for learners’ Shabbat services in which we grow the spirituality and skills of the community, and for adult study sessions.
WHAT ARE MASORTI SERVICES IN LEEDS LIKE?
Our services follow the traditional Ashkenazi Sidurim and Mahzorim. Our tunes are traditional tunes, spiced up with Israeli melodies. We offer family seating. All are encouraged to join in fully, lead services and leyen from the Torah. Children are encouraged to participate early on in appropriate ways. Men and women are equally counted in the minyan, called up to the Torah, leyen from the Torah scroll, and lead services. Because we are participatory and egalitarian, our services are full of Kavanah**. Because there is no division between an active prayer leader and a passive congregation, we don’t chatter – we are all too busy davvening. If you are ready for an intimate uplifting service, Leeds Masorti is ready for you. * Masorti is traditional Judaism practised in a spirit of open minded enquiry and tolerance. Masorti Judaism accepts the binding force of Jewish law, and understands that it has developed throughout history. ** Kavanah = literally “intention”, a kabbalistic term meaning focus, spiritual concentration, avoidance of distraction.
WHAT DOES LEEDS MASORTI DO FOR CHILDREN?
We run a variety of children’s services and activities for Shabbat and Holidays, in an atmosphere of fun and participation. We want children to learn together through prayer, song and play. We want them to understand what they say and why. For the very little ones, there are always plenty of toys. We encourage a spirit of asking questions rather than imposing answers. Brothers and sisters reaching Bar/Bat Mitzvah age can look forward to be treated as equals.
WHO ARE MASORTI’S LEADERS?
Masorti in Leeds are organised by a Council, a Treasurer and Joint Chairs. Our Joint Chairs are Bill Kunin and Eva Frojmovic. We have a charismatic visiting rabbi, Rabbi Jeremy Gordon of St. Albans Masorti. On the High Holidays, we invite visiting Chazzanim/ot to lead us.