The South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue (SWESRS) is an exciting and diverse Reform Community based in Newbury Park, Essex. Its welcoming and inclusive style, together with its innovative approach to services, makes it a shining example of Progressive Jewry in East London.
Formed in 1956, with the aims of providing and maintaining a Reform Synagogue for the purposes of public worship and advancing religious and educational activities for the residents of Redbridge and its environs.
In 1997 South West Essex Reform Synagogue (SWERS) merged with the St Georges Settlement Synagogue in Stepney, bringing members who added greatly to the further enrichment of the congregation. The Settlement was added to the title & the Synagogue was renamed South West Essex & Settlement Reform Synagogue (SWESRS).
The enlarged congregation has achieved and continues to achieve its aims.
SWESRS is a thriving community with over 1000 households mostly living in and around the Redbridge and Essex area, and is the largest Reform Jewish community in the region. It is widely recognised as a dynamic force both locally and within Reform Judaism.
We are proud of the diversity of our membership, as each of our members brings something unique to SWESRS.
SWESRS practices Reform Judaism this means we believe in:
- treasuring both Jewish tradition and Judaism’s ability to evolve in response to the contemporary world
- a life of integrity based on a process of informed decision making
- an uncompromising commitment to gender equality and inclusion, responding to the changing realities of our community
- seeks out new opportunities and spaces in which to welcome and engage with members, unaffiliated Jews and those with non-Jewish partners
- is committed to Israel and the pursuit of peace; democracy; human rights and religious pluralism
- means building a just society through social action and tikkun olam, repair of the world
To be a spiritually rich synagogue which is the number one choice for individuals and families in SW Essex, East London and the surrounding areas, providing a range of religious, communal and educational facilities which are a beacon for Reform Judaism and recognised as a model for other communities to aspire to.
To be a welcoming community, respecting differences but united by shared principles and aims, where everyone feels comfortable, valued and proud to be part of SWESRS
To be seen in the wider Jewish and non-Jewish community as a respected ambassador for Reform Judaism, striving to support the principles of charity and social justice and working for positive inter-faith and multi-cultural relationships.