Office of the Chief Rabbi

Birmingham central: Neshot Chayil Shabbat

Event

In honour of Shabbat Bereishit, Birmingham Central held their first Neshot Chayil Shabbat in celebration of the great contribution of female members to community life. There was a higher than expected, cross-generational turnout for a communal lunch that was given a unique edge by playwright, theatre director and performer Rachel Creeger, who spoke eloquently about the significance of the Ayshet Chayil poem and the miracles of creation.

Objectives

To recognize the central role that ladies play within the shul and community
To create a warm environment in which different generations can come together
To provide opportunities for Jewish learning, both through the Shabbat experience and the speaker

Evaluation from Enid Korn

The aim of this event was to recognise the work done by the ladies who quietly and frequently, and with little public recognition, give of their time and skills to support and enhance the shul community and its programmes. The event totally met its aims and objectives. The retelling of the work and life stories of our two neshot chayil brought the community together and fostered a sharing between the generations. One unexpected outcome was that there were members of other Birmingham congregations present, fostering good will and harmony. The event was more popular than had been expected which was a great achievement.

Participant Feedback:

  • There was a great feel-good factor. A joyous and happy experience.
  • A very satisfying and uplifting experience. The atmosphere was great!
  • The Bnot Chayil lunch was a first for Central Synagogue and proved very successful.
  • A wonderful occasion which was well supported. Another plus factor was that people from different parts of the community were united together.
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