Education

Religion School

Shalom and welcome to West London Religion School. We are a large and busy school with just under 200 children enrolled, aged from 4 to 18. We are overseen by the Director of Education - Susie Fraser.

Religion School starts at 10am and finishes at 1pm. We have a 30 week term. Please click here for our Prospectus and here for our 5775 year planner. We also offer residentials, family and tot services, family fun days and much, much more.

TRIPOD

LEG 1, LEG 2 and LEG 3 | YEARS 9, 10 and 11
Having made the positive choice, following their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, to continue with their Jewish journey, we know that we have to deliver an exceptional programme for our demanding teenagers. We endeavour to achieve this by offering a 3-year, 3-leg, programme, enriched by inspirational trips to a range of international destinations. The three-legs (Judaism, Leadership and Activism) each work towards a formal certificate being issued by Leo Baeck College, London. Receiving all three certificates will see students awarded a prestigious Diploma in Communal Leadership, again by Leo Baeck College, at our annual Kabbalat Torah celebratory service.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

At WLS, all our Bar/Bat Mitzvah (BM) students participate in the Shabbat morning/afternoon service (leading key prayers and reading from the Torah) on their ‘big day’, which usually occurs shortly after their 13th birthday.

We are blessed not just with sizeable BM classes, but also with many years of experience at creating meaningful BM ceremonies. Accordingly, we are able to assist a range of students with varying abilities and needs.

Whatever a child can realistically achieve, we want them to do just that, and then slightly exceed their own expectations, so that they feel a real sense of achievement. Even more than that, we want their BM to be one that they will always reflect upon as a positive and empowering Jewish milestone.

Adult Education

According to the Talmud,
“A person should always learn that part of the Torah which is their heart’s desire…A person should always learn Torah in a place that their heart desires.” – Babylonian Talmud, Avoda Zarah 19a

Our aim at West London Synagogue is to make learning an interesting, stimulating, sociable and life long experience. The environment is welcoming, the teachers are all passionate about their subjects and the possibilities to learn are endless. The Sayings of the Sages explain further that the world is maintained because of three things, Torah, worship and deeds of lovingkindness – Avot 1:2

Our aim in adult education at WLS is not only to learn from the riches of Jewish tradition, but also to use that learning to deepen our prayer experience and to sensitise ourselves to the need for social action and social justice work. Whether it be visiting the sick or helping to run the Drop-In Centre, the Jewish ethics that underpin that work are an essential part of our Adult Education programme.

The Talmud records a statement made by R. Chanina:
“I have learned much from my teachers.
More from my colleagues.
But most of all — from my students.”
—Babylonian Talmud, Ta’anit 7a

So, come and join one of our many programmes, speak to the Director of Education, Susie Fraser, if you would like to introduce a new subject and we look forward to you joining us in life-long learning.

Conversion

WLS welcomes anyone considering converting to Judaism. As with other Reform Synagogues in the UK, the process of conversion is in accordance with the procedure of the Beit Din (Rabbinic Court) for the Movement for Reform Judaism. It involves developing knowledge, experiencing Jewish life and showing commitment to the Jewish community. This can take approximately 16-18 months and involves regular attendance at synagogue services, participating in our year-long Jewish Preparation (JPREP) course (including studying Jewish knowledge and Hebrew), meeting regularly with the Rabbis before a visit to the Beit Din and Mikveh (immersion in ritual bath) which leads to Jewish status. Men are also asked to provide written proof that they have undergone circumcision. A conversion with the Movement for Reform Judaism is accepted by non-orthodox communities around the world.

If you are interested in converting, please speak to Susie Fraser on 020 7535 0258 to arrange a visit to WLS in order to experience some services. (We also encourage you to visit other communities: after all we shall expect to see you at services extremely often so you need to see where you most feel comfortable!).

Interfaith

What are WLS aims for interfaith?

At WLS we acknowledge that there are many different types of interfaith engagement. Our aim is to develop a range of interfaith activities to engage our community in building on-going relationships with those of other faiths. Our focus is on:

  • Cross generational work-which recognises the value of bringing people of all ages together to share their experiences of faith.
  • Inclusivity, ensuring that whatever your background and knowledge, you will find a way to engage with all our interfaith work.
  • Variety, drawing on a wide range of interests, whether that be art, music, text study or food, to provide lots of access points for engaging in interfaith.
  • Transformational,-to make a positive difference to the society in which we live.
  • Community led, to ensure that members are involved in projects at every level, from development to implementation, feedback and continuation.

So how can you get involved?

Eretz - Connecting you with Israel

West London Synagogue’s popular, dynamic ERETZ Programme is designed to engage the whole community with Israel…entertaining, informing, challenging and educating.

Throughout the year, there are opportunities to celebrate Israel, or encounter surprising aspects of Israeli life, or debate the more difficult aspects and issues of its future. We aim to achieve balance through the various ‘strands’ of the ERETZ Programme, no matter what your starting point is. There is film, music, drama, literature, language to enjoy, together with talks and discussions – something for everyone.

We are always open to event ideas, and we also welcome volunteers for a variety of tasks. To join our small group of volunteers, or to support the programme in other ways, please contact Jim Fletcher at eretz@wls.org.uk

School Tours

Shalom and welcome to school visits at West London. All inquiries are dealt with by our Education Administrator, Ruth Leveson on 020 7535 0291.

West London caters for 3,000 children every year, aged from 4+ until University age. Whether you need a GCSE talk, a general primary school visit, or a talk about a festival – we can cater for you.

We charge £1 per student, to a maximum of £50 per group.

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