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Holocaust Memorial Day - January 2024
The Medway Holocaust Memorial Day Event took place at Chatham Memorial Synagogue on Thursday 25 January 2024, with the help of students from local schools and Medway Youth Council together with Kent Police, MIFA and representatives of the synagogue. There were over 150 people in the synagogue, including the Mayor of Medway, Councillor Nina Gurung.
The theme for 2024 is "The Fragility of Freedom". Saturday 27 January 2024 was Shabbat Shira, when the Torah portion includes the Song at the Sea, when Moses, his sister Miriam and the Children of Israel sang a song of thanks and praise, in celebration of their freedom from slavery in Egypt. The last 3,000 years has shown how fragile freedom is, when the Jewish people were dispersed around the world and suffered terrible persecution, culminating in the Holocaust and more recently the terrible atrocities committed by Hamas on 7 October 2023.
History has taught us that freedom is fragile, but it is also precious. We pray for a world in which peace and freedom will prevail.
Donations to the Synagogue
You can make one-off or regular donations via JustGiving by clicking the button or scanning the QR code opposite. All donations towards the running of our synagogue or the ongoing repairs to the Grade 2* listed building, are always gratefully received.
Further damage to graves in the cemetery
We have been very shocked and upset by more vandalism and damage to graves in the old cemetery at the back of the synagogue.
Click here to read the report in the Jewish Chronicle.
We would be very grateful to receive any donations towards synagogue security or repairs to the damage in the cemetery.
Details of how to make a donation appear in the paragraph above.
Medway Walk for Peace - 15 July 2023
The Medway Walk for Peace took place on Saturday 15 July 2023. It started with a multi-faith Service for Peace at the Chatham Naval Memorial led by Synagogue President, Jon Weiner, together with lay reader Howard Soskind. The service included prayers by members of different faith traditions to emphasise that we are all brothers and sisters in peace and children of the One Creator. The service concluded with a final blessing, written for the occasion and read together by 7 people including the new Mayor of Medway and which ended with the words, "Lord of all mankind, bless those who believe in peace, who work for peace and who walk for peace".
The walk then visited the Sri Guru Nanak Gurdwara and the Kent Muslim Welfare Association Mosque before arriving at St Mark's Church, for a programme of speeches and entertainment.
In these uncertain times, Chatham Memorial Synagogue is pleased and proud to be associated with the Medway Walk for Peace.
Communal Seder - 6 April 2023
This year, we held our first Communal Seder in person since before the pandemic. Our most recent Seder was on Zoom in 2021. Over 30 people were present this year, at what was more like a large informal family Seder.
Many thanks to Howard and Perrina for the shopping and the cooking, as well as anyone else who helped.
Thanks also to Howard and Eytan for leading the Seder and all those who took part.
Tu B'Shevat Seder - 4 February 2023
On Saturday 4 February, we held a Tu B'Shevat Seder on Zoom after Havdalah.
Tu B’Shevat is the new Year for Trees but it is the time in the Jewish Calendar, when we can celebrate nature, and the ecology of this beautiful planet which the Almighty created for us.
Holocaust Memorial Day - January 2023
The Medway Holocaust Memorial Day Event took place in Rochester Cathedral on Thursday 26 January 2023 with the help of students from local schools and Medway Youth Council together with Kent Police, MIFA and representatives of the synagogue. There was also music from Rochester Cathedral Choir.
There was an exhibition of material from contributors that will subsequently be displayed in Chatham Library.
The theme for 2023 is "Ordinary People". Ordinary people were involved in all aspects of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution of other groups, and in the genocides that took place in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Ordinary people were perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses – and ordinary people were victims.
Interfaith Week - November 2022
MIFA held a varied and enjoyable series of events for Interfaith Week, which took place from Sunday 13 November to Sunday 20 November. This included an explanatory Friday evening service on 18 November. .
Heritage Open Days - September 2022
We were pleased to welcome over 220 visitors to our Heritage Open Days on Sunday 11 September and Sunday 18 September.
Visit by local artists - August 2022
On Tuesday 2 August 2022, the synagogue hosted a visit by 17 local artists, arranged by the Rochester & West Kent Art Society
The synagogue was pleased to provide this opportunity for the local artists to sketch and paint our historic grade 2* listed building.
The synagogue is committed to increased engagement with the wider community. Please see details below, regarding our forthcoming open days.
The graphite sketch opposite is by Nab Zamali
Medway Light Nights - February 2022
The synagogue was illuminated in the middle of February, as part of Medway Light Nights, as can be seen in the photos below
Kent Police - Run, Hide, Tell
Kent Police have asked us to circulate a poster, advising us what to do in the event of an attack on the synagogue
- click the button to display the poster.
Welcome to the web site of the Chatham Memorial Synagogue We hope that our website highlights the variety of our community events and services. Please feel free to read more about our synagogue on this site, or join us for one of our services or events. Visitors are always welcome, together with old and new members of the community.
Built in 1869 by Simon Magnus, in memory of his son Lazarus, on the site of an even older Synagogue, Chatham Memorial Synagogue is the home of the Jewish community in mid and north Kent.
Chatham Memorial Synagogue is actually located in historic Rochester on the River Medway in the county of Kent, about 35 miles south-east of London and only 35 minutes by high speed train from St Pancras (45 minutes from Victoria).
Although we are a small community we hold services for Shabbat every Friday evening and once a month (usually on the first Saturday morning of each calendar month, but it can vary (see our What’s On page). There is a Kiddush provided by the Guild after each of these services.
We also hold a range of services on the various Jewish festivals and a full set of services on the High Holydays.
Find out about our up and coming events and festivals. Everything relating to our varied programme of community events can be found on our What’s on page.
Our festival calendar is regularly updated and now includes dates for 2023 and 2024.
Check out what's happening in the synagogue over the next few weeks
Find out about our events calendar for the coming year. Everything from our religous services to our open community events.
Dates for your diary
Next weekly service
Friday 23 February (candle lighting 5:11pm)
Next monthly service
Saturday 2 March (KI Tisa)
To be advised
It is now possible to make online donations to Chatham Memorial Synagogue via Just Giving.
Please click on the logo, or scan the QR code to make your donation
At Chatham Memorial Synagogue, we fully support the principal of Inter-Faith dialogue. With all the problems and uncertainty in the world today, it is very important that the representatives of the major faiths stand together in support of the values which we share in common. Therefore, we are pleased to have been elected a corporate member of the Medway Inter-Faith Action Forum (MIFA) with a seat on its executive committee.
View images of our beautiful synagogue and our community activities.
Find out more about how to contact us and where to find our beautiful synagogue.
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