Today’s Torah reading is the second of three sidrot that inform us of the life and experiences of our forefather Avraham.
Jewish London starts here!
When I first came to London for my semester abroad, I was nervous about the Jewish community. I knew there was a very large Jewish contingent in both Golders Green and Hendon, but I didn’t know about the status of central London. My first venture into Central synagogue was during weekday services. I tried to quietly sit in the back of the Shul; however, I had to continuously renounce my hermitage to respond to the constant friendly engagement. I was quickly given an honor, followed by warm handshakes from the vast majority of congregants. At breakfast, I was urged sit down at the table, and a plate of food was professionally assembled for me. By the end of my 40-minute stint, I felt completely accepted and comfortable.
I knew that the weekday Minyan goers were a great group of people, but I recognized that most of them did not live in the surrounding area, and was nervous for Shabbat. My anxiety was quickly dispelled as soon as I got to shul. I met an entirely new group of people, and was invited out for both dinner and lunch. Dinner was a unique experience in the basement of the Shul, comprised of Jewish students living in the area. There I met 30 or so Brits who all lived in Central London, and were in different universities around the area.
Overall, Central London is definitely a viable and enjoyable atmosphere for a Jewish student.