A community that explores the meaning of our Jewishness in a creative and open way
KLS is a Liberal community where men and women sit together and participate as equals in services.
We mainly read from the standard Liberal Judaism service prayer book, Siddur Lev Chadash (‘New Heart’). It combines the core traditional prayers with contemporary readings, poems and meditations from a variety of Jewish sources.
Occasionally, we use draft excerpts from an evolving future Liberal Judaism prayer book, which brings together modern readings and new expressions of inherited prayers. Members are encouraged to feed back to its editorial board via KLS’s representatives.
Rabbi René leads most services, supported by members of our voluntary and lay leadership team. Training and support is given to anyone wishing to join this team, including Liberal Judaism’s acclaimed Ba’alei Tefillah lay leadership programme.
Services are in a mixture of English and Hebrew, accompanied by English translations. Transliterated prayer sheets (Hebrew using the Roman alphabet) are available so everyone including those not fluent in reading Hebrew can follow and join in.
Services are designed to be inclusive, accessible and welcoming, with pauses for explanation or reflection on the prayers being read.
We have a wide range of services to suit the different prayer needs of our members and to give expression to our Judaism in different ways. They cater for families as well as those wishing to study in smaller groups.
Our busy secular world makes it difficult to ‘remember and observe’ the Sabbath day as a day of rest as the Torah instructs. At KLS we make it possible!
All Shabbat services are followed by a Kiddush, a chance for members to catch up and have a chat over some challah and wine.
We have a variety of successful different service formats but the usual pattern is as follows:
We hold Shabbat services every Friday evening and Saturday morning.
1st Friday evening of the month at 7pm: Chavurah supper
Short service, some rabbinic wisdom, then enjoy a communal meal. Everyone is encouraged to bring a vegetarian or fish dish to share. The delicious food makes this a popular choice.
2nd Friday evening of the month at 8pm: Shabbat @ Home
Informal, relaxed service at one of our member’s homes. It helps members from different localities within the KLS catchment area to meet each other with an easier journey.
3rd / 5th Friday evening of the month at 8pm
Either: Classic service – Traditional Liberal Jewish service with stimulating sermon followed by kiddush and an opportunity to socialise.
Or: Shabbat Ruchani – Welcoming Shabbat in a relaxed, spiritual musical service, with haunting melodies, jointly led by our group of young guitarists.
4th Friday evening of the month at 8pm: Choral Shabbat
Traditional Liberal Jewish service with the KLS choir led by our Director of Music Rebekka Wedell sometimes with additional, special choral pieces on a particular theme.
Shabbat Island Discs
Often the sermon slot is replaced by a member or guest being interviewed about their life and selecting half a dozen pieces of music which are meaningful to them. Frequently fascinating and a wonderful way to get to know fellow congregants.
1st term-time Saturday morning of the month at 11.15am: Family service
All ages are of course welcome at all services but our specific family services are a chance for the whole family, and the wider KLS family, to pray, discuss the Torah reading and show off what the children have been learning at Beiteinu. Our pianist, Rebecca Singerman-Knight, provides musical accompaniment, making them very lively occasions.
Other term-time Saturday mornings at 11.15am: Regular service
Traditional Liberal Jewish service with stimulating sermon followed by kiddush and an opportunity to socialise.
Out-of-term Saturday morning at 11.15am: Shabbat discussion
Short service followed by a more detailed look at some of the texts and a discussion about their relevance to our world today.
From time to time we hold special themed services or invite a guest to speak on a particular topic of interest to the community.
Czech scrolls – A service to honour the memories of three Czech Jewish communities, Tabor, Rychnov and Blatna, which were lost in the Holocaust but whose scrolls are treasured by KLS.
Pride – A service and chavurah supper to celebrate the diversity and openness of our community and to acknowledge the work needed to spread this to some other countries where it is still a crime to be part of the LGBT community.
Recent talks with a guest speaker have been on the topics of mental health awareness, homelessness and human rights.