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SAMS Logo 25 yearsThis year – 2015 – is a very special one for SAMS. Our community was started in 1990, which means that this will be our 25th anniversary year. Over that relatively short period we have grown from services in front lounges of members’ houses to where we are today, at the very heart of the South Hertfordshire Jewish community. A truly phenomenal story.

To celebrate we will be holding a range of activities for the year ahead aimed at including all parts of our community and to celebrate all aspects of our community life. The events will be:

  • A Silver Jubilee Jazz Brunch
  • Silver Jubilee Quiz
  • Children’s 25th Party
  • Silver Jubilee Garden Party
  • Silver Civic Ceremony
  • 25 Friday Nights
  • Silver Anniversary Party

SAMS is a lively, warm and welcoming Jewish community within the Masorti movement, offering a centre for Jewish life in St Albans and the surrounding area.

As a member of SAMS, you enjoy many ways to lead an active Jewish way of life: through education for all ages and a variety of services, activities and events throughout the year. We are a community that supports each other, reaches out to each other, worships, celebrates and learns together and helps each other lead a better life … and we have a lot of fun.

Our website tells you all about SAMS. Whether you’re a member, thinking of joining us, interested in Masorti Judaism or considering moving to the St Albans area and looking for a synagogue, please have a browse and then come along to see us in person!

When you decide you want to visit the synagogue, please call us on 01727 860642 or send an email using our contact form on THIS PAGE.

Rabbi Rafi’s weekly words
Shabbat 27th to 28th February 2015

Shalom my friends.  I write to you this week from the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem where I am gathered with 15 of my rabbinic colleagues from countries throughout Europe, including Germany, Sweden, France, Ukraine, UK and the Czech Republic.  The chance to renew friendships and study together to reinvigorate ourselves is priceless and I only wish we had more time.  We also are joined by the Lay Leaders of Masorti Europe and together, we are hoping to continue the ongoing growth and success of our movement in Europe.

A topic that has occupied our attention, not just the rabbis, but us as a community in the past few months, is Same Sex Marriage.  We have had two communal study sessions, I have spoken and written on it and now, recently, there was a large development on this subject when the Masorti Rabbis in the UK released a joint statement which is linked to here. This ongoing conversation is not over simply by the release of the statement.  I encourage you all to read the proclamation and also to keep in the mind the following; this statement does not detail a specific way forward, but illustrates all the issues we as rabbis have been wrestling with and lays out the parameters each community must act within.  The decision on how we as a community will move forward is and always was our decision.

So, you may be asking, if this statement has been released, where do we as a community stand?  We are drawing near to a time when a decision will be made.  At this moment, the religious committee is reading and considering this document.  The leadership of the community will be also briefed and involved in the discussion.  And most importantly, you all must have voice.  If you have not already made your voice heard, please contact me and share your thoughts.  This is a difficult and loaded topic and because of that, we are moving with a steady but deliberate pace, to ensure a consensus and communal wide buy in.

I look forward to continuing this conversation in the holy and respectful way we have always done.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Rafi