If you are thinking of joining SHEMA, we will be happy to have you! Just click the button below or the links to complete an application form.
IS SHEMA FOR ME?
Joining a synagogue community can be a daunting experience, especially if you have just moved into the area or have not been to a service for some time, or you are used to a more liberal or more orthodox approach.
As a Masorti community, we are bound by Halacha (Jewish law), but we are a non-judgemental group and we allow members to find their own way and their own level of participation. Most people who come along to a service or social event are pleasantly surprised at how welcome they feel.
Is SHEMA for you? A great way to find out is to come and experience one of our services or events for yourself.
SHEMA offers weekly children's services throughout the year, apart from the summer months when most families are away.
Children's services are conducted for all ages up to Bnei Mitzvah and are well attended.
BNEI MITZVAH PROGRAMME - ALIYAH
We offers a full Bnei Mitzvah Programme - ALIYAH - that has been designed to educate our youth through a series of Jewish learning activities and social events that bring together the understanding of what it is to be Jewish and those responsibilities adapted by our Jewish Youth.
SHEMA helps people to convert to Judaism through the offices of the European Masorti Bet Din.
Conversion is a big step, but at the same time, for anyone who is serious about it, it is our pleasure and duty to provide help and encouragement in every way we can – and there are a number of members who have successfully converted to Judaism locally within Masorti and had help in recent years. We can certainly help you with your requirements.
Converting to Judaism cannot be taken lightly, and it does not happen quickly. We do not set out to make it easy, but we do set out to make it achievable, meaningful and rewarding. For us, the point of conversion is not to be Jewish, but to become Jewish: the journey, not just the destination, has to be worthwhile.
WHAT IF MY PARTNER IS NOT JEWISH?
A number of families in the community have one Jewish parent and one non-Jewish parent. SHEMA welcomes them and, while recognising that this can be a challenge, helps find a way to make it work.
For non-Jewish partners of our members, we have created associate members or Friends of SHEMA. For a modest monthly fee, a Friend of SHEMA is entitled to the full burial rights of their Jewish partner, to Members’ rates for events and are added to our distribution lists.
Many non-Jewish spouses of our members, although not members themselves, still play an important and very active role in the life of the community. We would never try to convert them (though obviously, we’d support them if they wanted to) and, while they naturally cannot take part in the ritual aspects of services, they are very much part of our community.
SHEMA has our own burial society, Chevra Kadisha, that works alongside the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS) to provide traditional funerals for all members who want one.
In addition, the JJBS has acquired a freehold parcel of land, so both woodland and separate mixed-faith burials are possible. This is the first time that woodland burials are available in a Jewish cemetery in the UK. Members can now choose to be buried in an ecologically friendly way in a natural environment surrounded by newly planted trees.
Our members have peace of mind that, through the synagogue and affiliation to the JJBS, we can provide a Jewish burial for all.
Normally funerals are conducted at Western Synagogue Cemetery, Bulls Cross Ride, Cheshunt EN7 5HT.
The JJBS Woodland Cemetery at Cheshunt – which is located adjacent to the existing JJBS cemetery at Bulls Cross Ride – is now fully operational. Funerals for non-Jewish partners of members in either the woodland area or the lawn cemetery are also available.
For any burial assistance or bereavements please contact us immediately.
More information can be found on the Life Cycle page.