At our Kol HaMishpachot service last Shabbat, led on guitar by the inspirational Mich Sampson and attended by a record 75 participants, the Bnei Mitzvah students shared their Lock-down Likes. From enjoying more family time, to making the most of their gardens, Lock-down is presenting opportunities for appreciating the important things in life. Moving online, with increased numbers attending Friday night and Shabbat morning services as well as Havdalah to mark the end of Shabbat, is proving strengthening and uplifting for our Oaks Lane community. But what of those who do not have access to a computer or digital device? What of those, including many regulars, who have not yet mastered the technology? Please get in touch with us via the office to let us know if you need help joining in online so that you too can join in this exciting community-building adventure. We have the resources to get technical help and guidance to you! If you have a spare computer, lap-top or tablet you can donate, then please let the office know so we can get these to members who need them.

Lock-down has its shadow-side too. In the news in recent weeks has been a growing awareness of the mental health impact of the lock-down on many. And the consequences of being confined has caused a dramatic increase in the numbers of calls to help-lines by those suffering domestic abuse. The school closures are a cause of great concern for children and teenagers who are vulnerable, who are disadvantaged, and who are witness to or victims of domestic violence and domestic abuse in its different forms. If you find yourself in any of these situations – don’t suffer in silence. Get help!

At present, the dramatic drop in cancer referrals is being highlighted in the media, as well as reduced admissions to hospital due to the fear of catching corona in hospital. Pikuach nefesh – Saving a Life - remains the highest value in our tradition. For goodness’ sake, if you have medical concerns, contact your GP. If you experience signs of serious illness, call an ambulance without delay.

All these serious consequences of the necessary restrictions to control the impact of corona virus on top of the devastating economic impact on so many. If you need to talk in confidence about any difficult aspects of the lock-down, please do call me. As always, I am here if you need me. Also ready to listen and offer support is Claire Hartley, who is hitting the ground running in her role as our new Care Coordinator. You can email Claire at or give her a call on 07935 158377. For a more general chat about worries and concerns, as well as an invitation to share and celebrate the benefits of lock-down, please do join me for my regular Chat and Check-In on Thursdays at 3pm.

As we begin in earnest to plan for the ‘new normal’, we welcome suggestions for a wider range of online community activities across the generations – especially if you would like to take the lead on planning and organising your exciting idea!

To the present: we are celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel  Independence Day, in our service this Shabbat, and are delighted to welcome back our friend Oded Gvaram, Redbridge Community Shaliach.  If you have a question to address to Oded on any aspect of Israel, please email the office by 10am this Friday morning. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Stay Safe, Be Well


Rabbi Lisa