FRS is a community that loves music and encourages participation at every level. All members are welcome to take part in the rich musical life of the community, whether by singing from their seat during services or by joining one of the many musical groups or events that occur during the week. Music plays an integral part of the synagogue's spiritual and communal life, and helps create the Ruach known at FRS within our services as well as our youth provision and adult education.
With the appointment of the first Reform Cantor in Britain in its clergy team – Cantor Zöe Jacobs - FRS has put music at the heart of our community at prayer.
There is a myriad of musical options on offer: monthly on a Shabbat morning at 9.15 you can join Shira where we learn multiple-part harmonies and get musically warmed up for the service. Several times a year we follow this with a Shira-style informal minyan in the small hall. Once a month at 10.30am we have a new musical service for families, Rhythm ‘n’ Jews, with an accompanying CD of some of the songs used. Friday evenings are always highly musical services and about once a term we follow the services with a Chavurah supper and an Oneg where we continue the singing with the addition of a little story-telling.
Shira at FRS
A 'new tradition' kindled recently at Finchley Reform Synagogue has been a monthly 'Shira'. In the past, 9.15am on a Shabbat morning would have been time for a bleary-eyed breakfast before shul. These days at 9.15am you will hear the strumming of guitar and melodic song emanating from FRS. This monthly 'Shira' session was instigated after a number of members of the community expressed a desire to sing Jewish music outside the confines of a service or a formal choir. We were looking for a relaxed way to enjoy each other's voices and to learn new Jewish music. The mood is contemplative at times, and upbeat at other times, reflecting the needs of the community.
Since its inception two years ago the group continues to blossom. We have attracted people who were previously not interested in singing in a choir or any formal setting, and also visitors to the community who have led us or simply joined in. What the community seems to enjoy about Shira is the chance to connect with other people and learn new tunes without the feeling of 'rehearsing' or 'performing': Shira is music ‘lishma’, for its own sake. We seem able to steep ourselves in harmonies that only come from a connection with each other and the impulse of improvisation. The result is a sound that fills both the room and the soul. Do join us!