About our communityImages

This is a grassroots friends of friends community, based on Friday night gatherings in peoples homes in London (Belsize Park, West Hampstead) every few weeks. Sometimes we have shabbat camping trips on beaches / mountains/ forests/ vineyards. The Carlebach Minyan is run by a group of friends as a labour of love. The people in the community bring, create and contribute everything. Everyone brings food to our pot luck meals, everyone brings their ideas and talents. We welcome people of all ages from babies to grandparents.

We have Carlebach Minyans (a generic term, they have them all over the world) where we sing the Friday night service to the melodies written by the songwriter Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (see article). He was the hippy singing rabbi who ran the House of Love and Prayer in San Francisco in the 1960s where he inspired people to go back to their Jewish roots.

From an article by Marsha Edelman on Reb Shlomo: “With a unique personality reflecting the full fervor of his adopted Hasidic background as well as a genuine love for his fellow Jew, Carlebach traveled North America telling stories, reaching out to Jews of all persuasions (including those with no affiliation), and using his talents to create melodies that touched his listeners … across the denominational spectrum.”

What we do: Friday night services (followed by dinner) in London NW3, countryside shabbat retreats, Pesach seders, poetry slam Friday nights, “teatime salons” where we have talks and workshops all day. Plus a Shavuot Retreat in Tuscany in May 2010.


About Grassroots Jews

High Holiday services in London, now in its second year. We want to be the kind of place where people say hello to people they don’t know. We want to try to create gatherings which are heartfelt, soul centered and intellectually inspiring. And we intend to bring a spirit of joy and Jewish exploration to our services. We want to be participatory and friendly.

Our services are traditional (perhaps not so traditional in parts) and halachic. There is separated seating by a mechitza and also a mixed area of seating where anyone can sit where you like. Women will be called up to the Torah in accordance with halacha. At the same time – free wheeling, open, free to come and go, chill out spaces, cushions, tents, friendly, space for mothers and babies.

We also like to explore, question and challenge. We are looking at parallel sessions with less structure and more spontaneity such as experimental approaches to prayer, meditation and yoga.

See our 2010 Booklet