As Kehillah North London, we welcome in Black History Month in the UK this year with Sukkot, our harvest festival, where we rejoice in temporary dwellings, which symbolise the fragility of the shelters we have dwelt in in the wilderness of our Diasporic history. This story of forced dispersion and exile is one that Black and Jewish peoples — and Black Jewish people — share in common. Black history is also an integral part of our British history; telling and knowing Black history is a celebration of our British identity. As a community, we rejoice in how integral the lives of Black Jews — and Black Britons, both Jewish and not — are to our collective Jewish and British stories. We are also conscious of the struggles and oppressions of Black history, and we recommit to interrogating and changing ourselves as a Jewish community: to centre and uplift Black Jews as essential to our multiracial Jewish story, and to show up in solidarity for the larger Black community in the UK and globally.

Kehillah Events:

17th October, 11am-12pm, Shabbat Morning Service: Racial Justice Shabbat. A classic Kehillah Shabbat morning service, both on Zoom and in-person.

We are asking everyone to book to comply with government guidelines: so that we know numbers and have information in case of a need for contract tracing. Booking form here

Our Parsha for this week can be found here

We will use extracts from Siddur Lev Chadash. The relevant pages of the Siddur can be viewed or downloaded in PDF form here.

24th October, 11am-12pm Black History Month Shabbat Morning service #BlackShabbat

30th October, 6pm for a 6:30 start,  Black History Month Kabbalat Shabbat #BlackShabbat An all-Black-led Kabbalat Shabbat in honour of Black History Month. 

If there are Black service leaders and lay readers, torah readers etc. in your communities who’d like to be involved in co-leading or if you would like to get involved, please contact Kehillah service leader Michael Lomotey. The more, the merrier.

And all are invited to attend the services. Please publicise to your communities. All services will also be on our Shabbat Zoom room: Meeting ID 899-668-970 here

Local Community Events:

Mon 12th October, 6.30-7.30pm, ‘Tracing African Caribbean Ancestry – Who do you think you are?’ (with Hackney Libraries, free)

In this masterclass, historian Paul Crooks captivates audiences with his unique account of how he traced his roots and his family’s migration down through the generations to Windrush. Full details and tickets available here.

Wednesday 14th October, Black UK History 101, JW3, 8pm. Full details and tickets here.

Thursday 29th Oct, My Black Mitzvah Party, JW3, 7:30pm. Full details and tickets on the JW3 website here

Find more events on Hackney’s Black History Season website here.