We have had to suspend our Kol Nefesh in-person Shabbat services during this second lockdown - we hope to restart these in our Covid-friendly format when it is safe and we are permitted to do so. These will be once again open to the community via a booking app on a first-come, first-served basis. See below for details.
As the days are growing too short to allow a full Friday evening pre-Shabbat programme, we are now meeting on Zoom as a community after Shabbat goes out on Saturday nights. See below under "Havdalah & Melaveh Malkah" for details. A very brief Kabbalat Shabbat will be led by members on Friday afternoons before Shabbat comes in. Check our our calendar for precise start times.
For the moment, we're still running our programming via Zoom. For more details, see the sections below.
Logon to Zoom using the link on the Home page of this site, or use these details;
Meeting ID 807 978 4899
Shabbat Services - restarting December 5th
We had to suspend our Kol Nefesh in-person Shabbat services during this second lockdown - but these will resume on December 5th. These will be open to members and visitors via a booking app, on a first-come, first-served basis. The booking app can be found here. However, if this will be your first visit under the new conditions, please read the guidelines below before booking.
In order to operate safely, we are following public health guidelines on social distancing and masking. This means that numbers in the room are limited, and everyone must be masked. The exception to this is the shaliach tsibbur or leyener, who can be unmasked as long as he/she is facing away from the kehilla.
Only the shaliach tsibbur or leyener may sing out loud. However, in good news, it appears safe to hum ... and it turns out that humming can create a stirring, inspirational, and even beautiful sound world. It's different – but it works.
Because masks become quite uncomfortable after 90 minutes or so, the services have been shortened to accommodate this new constraint. Each service begins with a minimal Psukei D'Zimra, followed by a full and complete Shaharit. The Torah service is largely as usual, except that the leyening follows the (shorter) triennial system (available here), and those saying blessings do so from their seats. Each week there will be a short drasha from a member of the community or Rabbi Joel, followed immediately by Aleynu, Mourner's Kaddish, and Adon Olam (with no Musaf service).
Due to the size of the room and social distancing requirements, each week we can accommodate up to 13 individuals or household groups, with a maximum of 18 people in the room. Booking is on a first-come, first-served basis, with slots reserved for those on the rota for the main roles. The gabbai and shammash roles are combined and may be assigned on the spot.
The service runs from 10am to about 11.30am. Bathrooms are available for use.
If you have a yahrzeit or wish to say a blessing and you find that the service is fully booked, please contact Gabi Peretz, firstname.lastname@example.org. We will endeavor to arrange a swap.
Everyone booking is asked to arrive on time, as the shortened service means we'll need a minyan from the beginning. However, it goes without saying that if you're feeling ill, or if you've been exposed to someone potentially carrying the virus – stay home! The health of all our members is more important than ensuring a minyan.
We look forward to seeing you!
Regular Zoom Events
During this period of social distancing to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, we have suspended our face-to-face activities in line with government guidance, but most importantly as the best way to keep our members safe and reduce the spread of the virus to vulnerable people in our community and around us.
Our priority now becomes caring for each other, avoiding the isolation and anxiety that we may feel, and supporting people in need. Further down this page are prayers for healing and safety.
On the positive side – we now have the opportunity to try out ways of gathering virtually for all sorts of purposes, including prayer, learning, socializing, and sharing our fears and concerns in a caring and reassuring space.
This is our current weekly schedule of regular virtual events, starting in November:
7:30pm–8.45pm "Sunday Evening Social"
This will vary each week. On the first Sunday of the month, Cheryl Sklan will present KNM's own "Desert Island Discs" with guests from the community (Nov 1, Dec 6, Jan 3, Feb 7). On the second Sunday Rabbi Joel and guests will discuss everyday life and current affairs in Israel (Nov 8, Dec 13, Jan 10, Feb 14). The third Sunday will be for quizzes, games and films (Nov 15, Dec 20, Jan 17, Feb 21). And on the fourth Sunday of each month we have a Siach Bo'er (literally a burning conversation or burning bush) – an opportunity for members to raise issues they are concerned about, and hear responses from the community. Click here for more details and a flyer.
Start the week on the right foot by joining us for a quiet introspective Shacharit on Monday mornings at 7am in the Zoom room. Please bring a traditional siddur.
8:00pm, The Judges. A new series led by Nahum Gordon examining the leaders who followed Moses and paved the way for the creation of the first Israeli state. Click here for more details and a flyer.
6.00pm, Virtual Allotment
On Tuesday evenings join us for the Virtual Allotment, KN's gardening group led by Mike Simmonds. Come along and find out what can be done with a bag of compost and Zoom. Rabbi Joel also participates and leads occasional teaching on agricultural laws in the Jewish tradition.
8:00pm Study with Rabbi Joel
Rabbi Joel's sessions resume on Tuesday 3 November, and will begin with a set of five sessions concluding the series on Judaism and Race – how black people have been presented in classical Jewish texts. We have already had five sessions on this theme (from August 10 to September 7), and the first session on November 3rd will be a review of what has been covered so far.
From Tuesday 8 December these "rabbinics" sessions will begin a new theme: "Counting our blessings (in dark times)". We will look at the how the infrastructure of rabbinic blessings might be used to help us to see, experience and give weight to the positive parts of our lives.
8.00pm, Torah Chat
Torah Chat started at the beginning again when we moved online at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Bereishit. We move slowly through the text, drawing on traditional and modern commentaries, but mainly exploring our own ideas and responses. Bring a chumash and any thoughts you want to share.
4:00pm, Tea and Chat: Pirkei Avot
In these text-light and wisdom-heavy sessions we are continuing to read the wisdom literature of the Mishnah – Pirkei Avot, "The chapters of the Fathers". This book of the Mishnah tries to condense the life wisdom of the early rabbis into a few choice phrases.
Check our calendar for the start time. We begin about 40 minutes before candle-lighting and end before Shabbat comes in. See below.
Saturday night (Motzei Shabbat)
From about half an hour after Shabbat goes out (check our calendar for the start time). See below.
You can join all open shul events by clicking on this Zoom link,
or by following the phone instructions and using 8079784899 as the meeting ID and 727721 as the password.
We are now running a very brief, 45 minute programme on Fridays comprising 15 minutes to chat and catch up on the week, followed by the ~25 minute Kabbalat Shabbat service. Please see our calendar for exact timings.
Havdalah & Melaveh Malkah
Before Covid-19, Kol Nefesh was a community whose primary weekly gathering took place on Shabbat morning. Since the lockdown at the start of the year most of our activities have moved online, and we have created a thriving new communal get-together in our Friday evening Zoom events.
With the days getting shorter and Shabbat coming in earlier, our main community gathering has now moved to the end of Shabbat, with a Melaveh Malkah (literally: "Accompanying the Queen"), commencing each week about 30 minutes after Shabbat goes out.
Just as Kabbalat Shabbat was instituted to joyfully welcome the "Sabbath bride", so the Melaveh Malkah was conceived as a ceremony accompanying her out as she departs. Most of the main elements of our Friday afternoon gatherings remain, but with the leyening and d'var Torah already looking forwards, focussed on the upcoming week, and with traditional songs for the end of Shabbat.
Starting about 30 minutes from end of Shabbat (check our calendar for the precise time each week)
A bit of leyening from next week's parashah
Start time + 30 mins
Prayers for the community, the country, the State of Israel
Prayers for the sick
Songs for the end of Shabbat
Help and Resources
Pastoral support and welfare
Rabbi Joel's visits are currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rabbi Joel is in Israel and can be reached on 07762 901197.
Our welfare team, Tanya Novick and Helen Stone, are available to arrange practical help or other support at any time. Contact them via the convenor or admin emails, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (ask to be put in touch with Helen and Tanya). Or contact Liz Preter and Meira Ben-Gad, our convenors, directly via the convenor email, email@example.com. All requests will be treated confidentially.
This link leads to a list of resources outside of Kol Nefesh, and some ideas for filling time with online content and activities from other Jewish organisations.
Masorti Judaism has moved all of their communal activities online.
Online portal: http://masortijudaism.social/. This is a one-stop shop for Masorti content over the coming months, including divrei Torah from rabbis and other contributors and links to live streaming and other content of interest.
Click here to see all of the Masorti UK online events including services, kids' events, study, etc.
Facebook group: Join our Facebook group, Masorti Together, where you can start discussion topics, share ideas, and keep in touch with other members of the Masorti community.
Prayers for Health and for Healing
1. PRAYER FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
Mi Sheberakh Imoteinu Sarah, Rivka, Rachel v'Leah,
Ve’Avoteinu Avraham, Yitzhak, v'Yaakov,
Hu yevarekh viyechazek otanu, veyaggein aleinu,
al kehiloteinu ve’al artseinu,
veyatsileinu vechol yoshvei tevel
mimagefah umikol pega ra.
Hu yishmor al kol ha’oskim betsorkei tsibbur be’emunah,
veyishlach refuah lechol hacholim
God, who blessed our ancestors Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah,
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless us and give us strength and resilience.
Shield us, our communities, our country, and all the inhabitants of the world from plague and disaster.
Protect everyone working for the good of the community, especially those engaged in medical care, in public health and in providing for our basic needs in hygiene, food and safety.
God, send healing to everyone who is ill. Help us to care for each other with sensitivity and kindness. Guide us in supporting everyone who is worried about vulnerable family and friends across the globe.
God, be with us and sustain our spirit, as it says in Your name in the Psalms,
Immo anochi betsarah,
I am with you in your troubles
and let us say: Amen
2. EL NA – THE PRAYER FOR HEALING
On Shabbat services we recite a prayer for healing, and we chant perhaps the oldest prayer in our liturgy, El Na Refa Na La - אֵל נָא רְפָא נָא לָהּ, said by Moses for his sister Miriam. This prayer can be chanted at home as well. These two versions are sung by Cantor Jacky Chernett.