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.
Service of Remembrance and Renewal
A service of remembrance and renewal was held at Chatham Memorial Synagogue on Sunday 14 April 2002 in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Medway. Memers of Bromley Reform Synagogue and Kent Liberal Jewish Community attended together with local Christian Clergy and visitors from the wider community.
On the Sunday following Yom Ha’Shoah, one purpose of the service was to remember the victims of the Holocaust but the service also had two other aspects. Firstly, in view of the wonderful restoration of the outside of the building, prayers were said for the founders of the Synagogue and for the restoration work.
Therefore it was wholly appropriate that in the true spirit of The Way Forward and its principles of inclusiveness, the service was conducted jointly by Jon Weiner of Chatham Memorial Synagogue, John Posner of Bromley Reform Synague and Beverley Taylor of Kent Liberal Jewish Community. the photo on the left shows from right to left - Jon Weiner, Beverley Taylor and John Posner.
The different communities in Kent have worked together on a number of occasions since 2002, particularly in the context of Jewish Kent.