Sutton Family Shabbaton: December 2011 - by Chairman Paul Sarfaty

Sutton Community 
Sutton Family Shabbaton: December 2011 - by Chairman Paul Sarfaty
On Friday 15th and Saturday 16th December, Sutton & District Synagogue held a Family Shabbaton with guest speaker Jonathan Arkush, barrister and Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
A full complement of some 70 people sat down to dinner in the synagogue hall following the Friday night service which was conducted by Rev Meir Lev.  The congregation spanned a wide age group and the atmosphere at the excellent meal - organised by the Sutton Synagogue Functions Committee headed by synagogue vice-chairman Rica Infante - was convivial and informal.
Mr Arkush was introduced by former university friend and member Adrienne Fresko, and talked about “the Arab spring” and its consequences for Israel and the world at large, followed by a lively question and answer session.  Synagogue chairman Paul Sarfaty then presented him with a book, and congratulated those present on organising and supporting such a vibrant and enjoyable evening.
Mr Arkush spoke again following the Shabbat morning service on the future of Anglo Jewry, and highlighted the importance of Jewish schools which act as a focal point for local communities.  He expressed the hope that the current attempt to create a Jewish primary school in South West London might have similar benefits.  He was also delighted to discover four members of the congregation to whom he was directly or indirectly related.  A vote of thanks was given by Paul Solomon.
Our appreciation also goes to Drs Marion and Andrew Rodin of Cheam who hosted Carol and Jonathan Arkush during their stay with us.
An article about this event has appeared today in the United Synagogue website.  Please click on this link to view:
On behalf of all of us, I want to ask Rica to pass on our thanks and admiration to her SFC team for the wonderful Friday night and Shabbat Kiddush that we have just enjoyed.
Having Jonathan Arkush with us gave the whole Shabbaton a focus and an interest for everyone present, and the services conducted by Rev Lev seemed to have an added ingredient that made them even more special than usual.
Above all, we owe an enormous debt to Rica for the vision, the planning and the execution which was flawless. 
It could not have gone better.
On the basis on this huge success (it was so good that I am even being told by some that we charged too little for the Friday night meal) I will discuss the possibility of a similar event this time next year, so that those who missed out can have the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and warmth (not to mention the food) that was very special and epitomises what the Sutton community is all about. 
Please do tell those you know who did not attend what a spectacular Shabbaton they missed.


Dear All

I would like to agree with Paul that It was probably the best two days I have spent in the shul. Every one I have spoken to who were there feels the same. Well done Rica and all the ladies for the hard work you all put in and Jonathan Arkush was a wonderful speaker.



The spirit of the evening took us back to years ago - when the community was united and pulling together.
It was a Sutton shul function par excellence - the atmosphere reminiscent of our old days as a tight and happy community.
Thank you Rica for your initiative and organisation and to all the SFC committee and helpers, not least to Hetty for her delicious soup!
Johathn Arkush was a brilliant speaker. 
This site has been presented in loving memory of Eva and Joe Sarfaty

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