50th   A history of NPLS
Tree of Life
Etz Chayim – the ‘Tree of Life’ – is the Hebrew name of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue.
 
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1960’s
Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) began life as the Pinner & District Liberal Synagogue in 1964 with 30 families. The first meetings were held at West House in Pinner.

Student rabbi Andrew Goldstein was appointed as Principal of the Religion School in 1965 and acting minister in 1967.

In 1966 the congregation moved to a former Methodist hall in Hallowell Road Northwood and changed its name to Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue.

1970’s
Andrew Goldstein was ordained as a Rabbi in 1970 and inducted as Minister in that September.

In 1977 the site for new Synagogue was acquired in Oaklands Gate Northwood and with successive appeals £250,000 was raised for construction.

Rabbi Goldstein’s Yom Kippur address in 1978 was the starting point for NPLS connection with Czech and Slovak Jewry.

1980’s
The new synagogue was dedicated in 1981. Later that year an Ark Surround was rescued from the Cemetery Chapel in Kolin (Czechoslovakia) and reassembled in our synagogue as a permanent memorial to the many Jews from Kolin who were transported to the concentration camps by the Nazis.

By 1982 the congregation had out grown its new building for High Holydays services which were subsequently held in Watford.

In 1984 two part time administrators Ingrid Squires and Avril Witte were employed.

In 1987 to first synagogue retreat to Charney Manor took place, as did a trip to Spain, the first of many overseas trips to places of Jewish interest. The memorial Tree of Remembrance was consecrated.

1990’s
Rabbi Marcia Plumb was appointed Associate Rabbi 1990, followed by Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith as assistant in 1994 and Rabbi Rachel Benjamin in 1998.

In 1990 the NPLS branch in Amersham was established as an independent community - the South Bucks Jewish Community.

In 1994 following a generous donation and an appeal part of the buildings which had been let were taken back and the Osorio Hall and additional classrooms were created.  In 1995 the Etz Hayim Gallery was established in the Osorio Hall.

In 1996 Judi Herman wrote “Stones of Kolin” which was subsequently performed both at Sadlers Wells in London and – as part of an NPLS trip – in the town of Kolin.

2000’s
In 2001 the first annual programme for Holocaust Memorial week was run jointly with Northwood United Synagogue. 600 local children attended.  After 20 years heavy use, the synagogue was refurbished.  The first Jewish Arts Week programme took place.

In the same year NPLS appointed its first paid Care Co-ordinator Jackie Goodman to take over the pastoral support previously undertaken by Mrs Sharon Goldstein.

In 2003 a strategic review of the Synagogue took place and a management committee was established.

2004-5 saw celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the congregation including an appeal which raised £40,000 to buy an ambulance for Magen David Adom. In 2006 Rabbi Andrew preached and the synagogue choir sang in Lincoln Cathedral.

In 2006 Rabbi Aaron Goldstein was appointed Assistant Rabbi and in 2008 Rabbi Andrew retired and was succeeded by Rabbi Aaron. Rabbi Hillel Athias-Robles was appointed assistant rabbi, and he retired in 2012.

Membership of NPLS has now grown to grown to some 1100 adults and approximately 300 children and junior members under 18 years of age.

In 2013 Rabbi Lea Mühlstein was appointed as second rabbi of the community

In 2014 the 50th Anniversary of the community was celebrated. For photos of 50th Anniversary visit the Photo Gallery

For a list of Rabbis Presidents Chairpersons and Chatanei click here

   
  West House 1964  
  Hallowell  
  Hallowell Road 1966  
  Oaklands  
  Oaklands Gate 1980  
  Osorio  
  Osorio Hall - Etz Chayim Gallery 1994  
  Refurbishment  
  Refurbishment 2001  
       
 
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