We’re still busy since our AGM. I am very sorry to say this is partly because one of our longest standing Members, Charlie Cassell, passed away at the end of March. We are very sad about this. He will certainly be missed.
We had our 24th AGM on the 17th March. When I was preparing my report for the AGM I looked over what we’d done in the past year. I was most pleasantly surprised. I’m still the Chair but we’ve had some changes in Council with a new Treasurer, Venetia Strangways-Booth, whom we welcome, and some other reshuffling. We’ve happily welcomed quite a few new members during the past few months. We plan to continue to welcome more new members.
We want to encourage people to feel at ease, to participate, to communicate, to develop with our community. A community list of members’ phone numbers & email addresses (with their agreement) has been produced and distributed, and will be kept up-to-date, so we can contact each other.We’re using our display boards for photos of Council members and other information, including parking areas and costs. We would also appreciate suggestions about what to put on the boards. We have produced useful booklets, including transliterated song booklets and an ark-opening booklet to enable everyone to join in and be more confident. And of course, our popular newsletter is produced for members and other interested people.
In addition to appointing our new rabbi, Leah Jordan, we've enjoyed lots of member participation and lay leadership in the past year. We’ve had community-led and -organized services and festivals, and in the past year about 50% of our Members and Friends pitched in as volunteers in some way to help our community run more smoothly and enjoyably.
We're also growing into our new identity: We held our 3rd Annual Community (Communication) Meeting in August and agreed our new working name as Norwich Liberal Jewish Community (the business name remains PJCEA for financial purposes). We had our first ever Hanukah Fayre, raising our profile & some money, too! We were surprised at the number of visitors and the amount of money raised. We’re having another one this year.
Our Cheder has blossomed in the past year under the leadership of Rabbi Leah and Annie H. The cheder, which meets monthly, welcomes children of varying knowledge and ages. Several families with children of cheder age have made contact, and parents are very much involved. Parents and children can borrow books to work together between Cheder meetings.
And finally, our new website is nearly ready and we will announce it here.
Some plans for the forthcoming year are:
- Events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the PJCEA/Norwich Liberal Jewish Community
- Community participation and ownership, specifically:
- Another communication meeting in July with Rabbi Danny Rich
- Continuing development as a vibrant and welcoming community
- Arrange new members meetings
- Improving the Old Meeting House & Peill Room, where we meet outside of services
- Welcoming Cheder + prospective converts
- Provision of books to borrow
- Fundraising – Hanukah Fayre + other events
- New ideas from the community - I look forward to hearing them!
Sarah Boosey, Chairperson
Norwich Liberal Jewish Community