Delving into Judaism - Starts Tuesday April 23

Delving into Judaism and Hebrew 8 Week Course Rabbi Rebecca’s Home, those asterisked are at FPS* Learning from 7.00 - 8.45pm. Each session stands alone but together they create a fuller and more integrated conversation about Judaism.

Tuesday 23 April ORDER

Understanding the Seder (order). The Exodus from Egypt has become leitmotif of Judaism. Unpacking and building on this central thread. How does Order connect to empathy?

Tuesday 7 May MEMORY

Jonathan Safran Foer suggests Jews have 6 not 5 senses, the sixth being memory. Iyar (this month) holds extra dates in the calendar added by the early State of Israel. These were unprecedented changes to Jewish tradition. Do we need them to remember?

Tuesday 21 May* CALENDAR

The Hebrew alongside the Gregorian. The time frame of a Jew.

Tuesday 4 June * TORAH

Both a pillar of being Jewish and a way of expressing Progressive values.

Tuesday 11 June WHO’S WHO

Denominations: The Jewish ‘Food Chain’. The wider community of Israel Klal Yisrael.

Tuesday 25 June MINYAN

Community at prayer. Why congregation matters. What we gather for? The rules and expectations of being community.

Tuesday 2 July* MAZAL TOV

Birth, Coming of Age and Commitment…Jewish rites of Passage: Why Mazal Tov matters.

Tuesday 9 July KADDISH

Jewish customs around death and what it brings to life.

Mozart: Spring Celebration - Friday 26 April

Mozart: Spring Celebration

Friday 26 April 2019, 7.00pm, in support of Music Fund (

Flautist Abigail Dolan joins a string trio to mark the end of Pesach with Mozart’s set of works that is among his most optimistic and energetic. Music Fund is a charity that collects unwanted musical instruments from European donors, repairs them, and sends them to music projects in countries in need or in conflict. It also trains and supports instrument repairers in those countries so that the instruments donated remain in good condition.

A short service followed by a concert. Please donate your un-used musical instrument or make a financial donation.

About Music Fund:

Currently the charity has active projects in 5 countries, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Morocco, Mozambique, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Instruments are donated at periodic collection events around Europe. The event on April 26th will be the next opportunity for London-based donors to give instruments, or make a financial contribution to the charity's work. All donors are informed once the instrument reaches its final destination. The organisation was founded in 2005, and its Patrons include Daniel Barenboim. It has so far collected and distributed more than 6000 instruments. A UK support-group exists with a website at The current UK chair, John Sloboda, welcomes enquiries (sloboda.john@gmail,com)

Programme: Mozart – Quartets in D Major KV 285, G major KV285a, A major KV298.

Abigail Dolan, flute
Hanna Tracz, violin
Diogo Ramos, viola
Joanna Twaddle, cello

Communal Seder - Saturday April 20 6pm

2018-03-31_210014_D75 FPS Seder.jpg

The FPS Communal Seder, led by Rabbi Rebecca Birk and Dean Staker, will be held on the evening of Saturday April 20th, starting at 6pm. You can download a booking form here - please complete and return to the FPS office as soon as possible.

Citizenship – Privilege, right or something in between?

Here is a message from Simon Rothstein at Liberal Judaism, about a panel event next week:

Dear Rabbis and Communities

I am writing as we have an important Liberal Judaism event coming up next week with a very strong panel and are keen to have as many members of our communities there as possible.

It takes place on Thursday 4 April at the Montagu Centre and is the latest in our Hot Potatoes series of events titled Citizenship – Privilege, right or something in between?

The panel includes Tasnime Akunjee (a criminal defence lawyer who represents Shamima Begum), Edie Friedman (the executive director and founder of JCORE), Satbir Singh (CEO of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) and our own senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich. The panel will be chaired by Charlotte Fischer of Citizens UK.

These events are specially designed so that perceptions are challenged, all ideas are heard with respect and questions from the audience are encouraged.

This latest one takes place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on Thursday 4 April. Tickets are just £5 and are available from

For those outside of London who can't physically attend we will be filming the event and putting it online.

Building bridges, not walls

Friday 8th March, 10-11.30am at FPS

More than 600 Palestinian and Israeli families who have lost loved ones are members of the Parents’ Circle-Families Forum (PCFF) and work across the divide for peace and reconciliation. Please join us for a conversation with forum members Bassam Aramin and Robi Damelin, who are visiting the UK to raise awareness of the bereaved Palestinians and Israelis who have chosen the path of reconciliation rather than retaliation.


Robi Damelin’s son David was shot by a Palestinian sniper in 2002. David was studying for an MA in the philosophy of education at Tel Aviv University and was an active member of the peace movement. Since 2003, Robi has been making use of her personal pain for reconciliation rather than revenge.

Bassam Aramin lost his 10 year-old daughter Abir in 2007 when she was shot in front of her school. He had struggled against the Israeli occupation since he was 13 years old and spent seven years in Israeli jails. He now devotes his time to the pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation and a non violent end to the occupation.

Admission free. To register, go to

FPS Breakfast Shiurim for November and December

All are welcome to the upcoming Shiurim:

SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2018 AT 8.30 am


‘Disillusioned words like bullets bark’

This short sequence of poems represents the work of four important and distinctive Jewish Nobel Literature Laureates - the Russian dissidents Boris Pasternak and Joseph Brodsky; Nelly Sachs, who offered moving testimony to the consequences of the Holocaust; and Bob Dylan, who was controversially awarded the prize in 2016. Each provokes profound consideration of the human condition and its context, and is bound to stimulate vigorous discussion.

Peter Brennan will be visiting FPS for the third time. Peter was for many years Head of English at The Latymer School, Edmonton and has since taught over 60 literature courses at City Lit College, Holborn.

SATURDAY 15 DECEMBER 2018 AT 8.30 am


‘Eye for An Eye’

In this Shiur we consider morality from the perspective of two seemingly unrelated topics: lex talionis and the evolution of cooperation.

The first one, lex talionis (“… eye for an eye ...”), played a significant role in the history of law and is one of the most famous passages in the Torah. A version of this law is described in the Codex of Hammurabi. The contrast between some of the commands in the Torah and the Codex of Hammurabi provides a fertile ground to highlight desirable attributes of an ideal Moral system.

The second topic is approached through a well-known mathematical problem known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, which embodies in an elegant way the problem of cooperating in challenging environments. Here, a version of the law of retaliation, "equivalent retaliation" (or tit-for-tat), has been shown to be one of the simplest and most effective strategies to promote cooperation.

To bridge the gap between the two topics we consider the notion of free will and the moral ability of an individual to distinguish what is right and wrong. 

A delicious Tony Rose breakfast will be served before each Shiur.

Remember Baghdad - an unmissable documentary film

Beit Midrash presents a showing of the documentary film

Remember Baghdad

Thursday 8th November 2018, 7.30 for 8 pm in the Main Hall

The performance will be preceded by a reception

with Middle Eastern canapés and wine


Remember Baghdad is the untold story of Iraq, an unmissable insight through the eyes of the Jews who lived there until only a generation ago. With vivid home movies and archive news footage, eight characters tell their remarkable stories. Amid the country’s instability today we follow one Iraqi Jew on a journey home, back to Baghdad. That person is North Londoner Edwin Shuker, who wants to buy a house in Iraq so that he can say “the Jews have not all gone”, and to plant a seed of hope for the future.

Edwin Shuker is an Iraqi-Jewish business person and philanthropist. Born in Baghdad, he is Vice President of the European Jewish Congress and a member of the Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He is an international activist and public speaker on the Middle East and in particular the subject of Jews from Arab countries, particularly his native Iraq. Edwin has engaged in and supported many projects promoting human rights and freedom in the Middle East.


We are honoured that Edwin Shuker will be joining us for this event. After the screening there will be a Question and Answer session with Edwin.

Entrance £10 (concessions £5) – no need to book

Remember Baghdad is a Spring Films and Echodocs production. We are grateful to Sarah and Lionel Derriey, Rochelle Simmons and Igal Samuel, and Matt Hird of Dartmouth Films, for facilitating the event. All proceeds from the event will go to Edwin Shuker’s chosen charity, Sephardi Voices UK (