Listen Up: Merged EMS/EBMC community will be called South Herts And Edgware Masorti (SHEMA)

By Masorti Judaism 28th Feb 2022

The voting is over, the result is in, and the community formed by the recent merger of Edgware Masorti Synagogue (EMS) and Elstree and Borehamwood Masorti Community (EBMC) has agreed to be known as SHEMA – South Herts & Edgware Masorti. The decision was ratified by a meeting of the synagogue Council on 21st February, following a poll of the membership.

Members of both legacy communities were invited to propose names for the newly merged entity, and the membership was invited to choose their top three. Over 40 names were suggested, including some by members’ children, and some 200 members cast their votes in the online poll. A competition will be held to design a logo that symbolises the spirit of the new name.

‘SHEMA is a powerful name which embodies the dynamic spirit of our new community,’ said Co-Chair Steven Lux. ‘South Herts and Edgware Masorti tells people where we are, but SHEMA says pay attention, we are open for business, while of course having immediate resonance from our daily prayers.”

The Council is actively seeking suitable premises near Borehamwood, to offer the growing numbers of young Jewish families in the area a meaningful Masorti experience. In the meantime, they are continuing to hold Covid-compliant services in both Edgware and Borehamwood, plus combined events including Yom Tov services and B’nei Mitzvah. After the move, they will ensure the continuation of services in Edgware for legacy EMS members who would not wish to travel to Borehamwood.

SHEMA was formed by the merger of Edgware Masorti Synagogue (EMS) and Elstree & Borehamwood Community (EBMC). The two communities voted to merge in October 2021 and the merger was completed on 20th December 2021. The joint chairs are David Grossman, formerly co-chair of EMS, and Steven Lux, formerly co-chair of EBMC. Similarly, there are joint treasurers – Daniel Davis and Deborah Cohen – and Wardens – Stephen Fidler and Jonathan Barnett. Together with Honorary Secretary Sarah Nathan and six members drawn from both legacy communities, they form the inaugural synagogue Council which was elected in January. Danny Newman continues as Rabbi to the new community, having previously served as joint Rabbi of the two legacy communities.

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