The Memorial Service - Welcome by Mr Adrian Marks

Rabbonim, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my sad duty to welcome you to the New London Synagogue for this memorial service for our beloved founder Rabbi, Dr. Louis Jacobs, Zichrono Liv’racha.

More than 40 years ago a number of families, including my own, made the bold decision to leave a Synagogue where most of them had worshipped for very many years. This was an unprecedented situation. The Synagogue was unarguably one of the most prominent ‘establishment’ Synagogues in the country. The members concerned were not of a fickle nature. They loved their Synagogue - the New West End Synagogue - for its beauty and tradition. To abandon it was a bold step, and in some cases, divided family from family. Even amongst those who chose to remain, most would have chosen a route which would have avoided the split which sadly took place.

Why did this happen? Why did middle of the road orthodox families such as mine, choose this course, the formation of a wholly new independent congregation? The answer is simple and is the reason why we are here today. Louis Jacobs. He was to us a decent, straightforward and upright man who deserved better. A leader whose intellect and stature were, and remain, universally recognised, but whose uncompromising honesty on theological matters fell foul of elements within the establishment who wished to be rid of this, to borrow an expression from elsewhere, 'turbulent priest'.

Over the years the New London Synagogue, with outstanding teaching, preaching and leadership from Louis Jacobs  has prospered.  Others have drawn upon our experience and formed successful communities under the umbrella of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues, currently the fastest growing Synagogue grouping in Anglo Jewry, and who are well represented here today. 

This expansion of ideals will continue thanks to the vision of the original pioneers led by our founder Rabbi. No two communities are identical but what we do share is the absence of hypocrisy and the ability to worship as we individually see fit, whilst respecting the views of others. We wish to be inclusive not exclusive. 

On many occasions, even recently, people within the orthodox world, when hearing of my membership of NLS, have remarked that whilst they always agreed with LJ’s views on many contentious subjects, they did not wish to rock the boat.     

Ladies and gentlemen, Louis Jacobs rocked the boat and we are proud to say that we helped him. The result was the foundation of this great Synagogue and community which I am proud to serve as chairman.

At the beginning of this year the UJIA asked the NLS UJIA committee to undertake a major project, raising funds to build a much needed resource centre, with a library, additional classrooms and computer rooms for the one of the busiest and major high schools in the Galilee. The Western Regional High school at Kabri, some 15 kilometres south of the Northern border.

The High school has some 1100 students who come from villages, towns,  Moshavim and Kibbutzim in the areas of Ma'ale Yosef, Shlomi and North-western  Galilee.  This vital major fundraising project was announced  at this years  New London Synagogue UJIA function.

We thought it would be fitting to name the centre the ‘Rabbi Louis Jacobs Resource Centre’ and the Mayor of the area, Avi Krampa,  agreed and said “it would be a great honour”.

 We will continue to raise the considerable funds needed to build the centre as a major part of our UJIA fundraising for Kol Nidrei in the coming two years.

As I look around our Shul today, full of so many people who wish to show their respect and affection for our founder Rabbi, I see many who were with us in years past and who worked hard to create this community.

The best tribute that we at the NLS can pay to our founder Rabbi and to them is to ensure that NLS not only survives but thrives as the centre of excellence of which he was so proud.

It is my pledge that we will dedicate ourselves to this aim with the help of our professional team led by Rabbi Dr Reuven Hammer and the energy of the many members who serve on the Council and various committees or who quietly and without fuss contribute behind the scenes to advance the aims of the Shul.

May the memory of Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs continue to inspire us to greater commitment in the years ahead.

Service Times

Friday night: 6:30pm
Shabbat morning: 9:15am
Sunday: 9:00am

Rosh Chodesh:

7:15am weekdays
followed by breakfast
or 8:45am Sundays

Minyan Chadash:

9:45am monthly
See calendar.

Candle lighting based on 18 minutes before sundown; Havdalah based on 8.5 degrees below horizon (Shitat HaG'onim).

Connect With Us

New London Synagogue
33 Abbey Road

Tel: 020 7328 1026

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