Jareds Bar Mitzvah

jaredJared’s Bar Mitzvah was on 5 April 2014 and it was a fabulous and memorable event. Our guests were an eclectic mix of traditional North London Jews aged 18 to 80 and eccentric non-Jews aged 15 months to 60.

Most of the Jewish guests were from my family and used to Orthodox services. Most of the non-Jews were friends, many of whom are gay and had never set foot in a shul before.

Fortunately, Kehillah North London is an inclusive community and everything went swimmingly. Everyone remarked on how warm and welcoming the shul was and they all said how much they had enjoyed the service.

This was all the more remarkable because Jared’s family is rather alternative. I am Jewish. My partner, Carla, is a Brazilian atheist. Jared’s Dad was brought up Scottish Presbyterian and his partner Michael is agnostic. My ex-partner, Jackie, who also has an important role in Jared’s life, was raised as an Irish Catholic.

Add in my divorced parents, their respective partners and about 40 other guests and it could have been a very challenging morning. But it wasn’t. Having spent about 18 months preparing, Jared was a star. His Dvar Torah was thoughtful and profound and he read his Paresha, the Brachot and the Haftorah beautifully.

Rabbi Shulamit was really helpful with the Dvar Torah and she structured the service so that lots of Jared’s family could play a part. We had people opening and closing the Ark, dressing the Torah, holding it up and taking it round the shul.

My brother gave a beautiful opening reading and he and my Dad stood next to Jared while he read his Paresha – which was a very special moment for them. Rabbi Shulamit gave a lovely sermon and at the end of the service, my Mum and I each gave a closing blessing to Jared, which was very moving for us and I think all the guests too!

All in all, I know I am biased as Jared is my son but I thought it was the best Bar Mitzvah service I have ever been to.

Thank you Kehillah and thank you Rabbi Shulamit.

Where we are

Services are held at: 

The New Community Rooms, Spensley Walk, Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 9ES.

Click here to contact us

A Prayer for London

Eternal God, now more than ever do we understand that everyone of us is connected, none of us is alone. None of us untouched by the suffering in our city, in London. Our ears are filled with the sounds of sirens, our eyes and minds are full of the sight of terrible terrible suffering. None of us is left untouched. We think of those who lost their lives in Grenfell tower. They and their families are like us and our grandparents and parents. They came here for a better life and a life of peace. We think about the terrible wounds, and the terrible deaths of those in Borough Market and London Bridge, and Westminster, and now outside the Finsbury Park Mosque and we search for the courage it takes to carry on. To live with such loss and such pain. Give us the courage to fight for what is right, and the gentleness to be open to our grief, and let every scar that we Londoners must bear, be one day part of what will make us strong, and let us say, amen.

Click here to read more about Kehillah North London.

Kehillah North London
(Formerly North London Progressive Jewish Community)

71-75 Shelton Street 
Covent Garden
London WC2H 9JQ

Tel: +44 (0)20 8123 5752
Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu: 020 7403 3779

Registered United Kingdom charity no.1097713

Click links below to download a copy of our latest newsletters

July 2017 calendar

February 2017 newsletter

July 2016 newsletter

January 2016 newsletter