Last weekend, St John’s Wood Synagogue celebrated its first ever away Shabbaton. The hugely successful event took place at Audleys Wood Hotel in Hampshire, where 134 participants celebravted the community under the theme ‘My family, my community, my world.’

The guests represented the shul’s diverse cross-section of members, with people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds, including families and singles, teenagers and senior members of the community, ranging in age from five months to 100 years old!

Dayan Ivan and Rebbetzin Rachie Binstock and assistant Rabbi Yoni and Rebbetzin Dina Golker all worked together to create a wonderful weekend.

The weekend was jam-packed with a range of programmes which included sing-along interactive services, , whisky-tasting sessions, delicious food, and a Zumba class on Sunday morning.

Discussion groups and panel-led sessions were held including an impressive panel discussion about the business world, and wall-to-wall activities for children and teenagers overseen by several madrichim.

The weather was kind – it rained only during the services on Shabbat morning – and everyone was able to enjoy relaxing in the beautiful grounds of the hotel.
The weekend ended with a spectacular Lag b’Omer bonfire havdalah, with guitar accompaniment from the Shul’s very talented Chazzan, Avreimi Kirshenbaum, as well as a drumming session for the whole community. Rabbi Yossi Binstock got the crowd going throughout the weekend with rousing renditions of songs old and new.

Rabbit Golker commented how nice it was that “the Shabbaton brought people together from across the community. We are looking forward to planning the next one.”