Chatham Memorial Synagogue is an independent traditional synagogue, which means that we are not affiliated to any major religious body. All of our services are run on traditional lines by lay members of the community who between them have many years of liturgical experience. Although we are a small community with limited financial resources, we hold regular services for Shabbat and festivals as well as social and cultural events. Please visit our Services page or our This Month page for further details.
In 2001, we had a serious look at how best to secure the future of our community into the 21st century, and so continue to practice our religion in our beautiful Synagogue. This process was called “The Way Forward” and details appear below.
We are always pleased to welcome visitors and their families to the area as well as new and prospective members. Please contact us for further details.
As a community we are conscious of our responsibilities in the field of education both within the Jewish Community and the wider community. We regularly host visits by groups of local school children as well as assisting religious education students at local universities and colleges of education.
We have warm and friendly links with the other Jewish Communities in Kent through a network called Jewish Kent.
The community is also involved in Inter-Faith matters and works closely with Medway council, Rochester Cathedral, Medway Inter-Faith Action Forum and the Medway Youth Parliament in organising annual commemorative events in Medway for Holocaust Memorial Day.
The Way Forward
At an Extraordinary General Meeting on Sunday 16 September 2001, a resolution was passed unanimously adopting “The Way Forward”, thus paving the way for a more inclusive community with the aim of making the Chatham Memorial Synagogue the centre for Judaism in North Kent.
“The Way Forward” was the beginning of a process which in the view of the trustees and the management committee, forms the basis for ensuring the future survival of the community and the beautiful synagogue which is its home.
The most immediate change resulting from the EGM was that membership of the community is now open to all those who are Jewish either by birth or by any recognised form of conversion. Any man who is eligible for membership of the community will be counted as part of a minyan.
Two things have not changed since the adoption of “The Way Forward” Our services follow the traditional liturgy and there has been no change to the Kashrut rules in the kitchen.
Following the adoption of “The way forward”, discussions with other Jewish communities in Kent, both traditional and progressive, let to the formation of Jewish Kent a grouping of all the communities in the county, working together for the common good of all the communities.