Purim Party & Megillah Reading

Wednesday March 23
5.30pm Purim Party for Children
7pm Megillah reading
Adults £10, children 6 and over £3, under 5s free!
Please note, the Megillah reading is free.

Starting at 5.30pm, dress up and bring your children for a festival of making, shaking, booing, hissing, singing, dancing and feasting. There will be food from 5.30, (falafel, pitta, hummus, salad and the children’s own delicious home-made hamantaschen), and we will be making shakers and noise-makers (to be used during the Megillah reading at 7pm) with our artists in the Frank Cohen Hall. The musicians among us will be playing live music until…

At 7pm Rabbi Mark Daniels will be reading the Megillah in our beautiful synagogue. All are welcome and this will be followed by a delicious buffet provided by Bristol’s own Falafel King. (There’ll be falafel, pitta, hummus, salads, and beer (for the parents)!)

We hope to see you there! And remember, dress up!!!

Once again we are collecting for the ‘East Bristol Food Bank’, in the Purim tradition of giving gifts of food, mishloach manot.  Please bring donations (unopened, non-perishable food items) either to the party.

Talk: Sefardi Judaism

Monday 28th 7:30pm
Park Row Synagogue

A look at the geographical varieties of Sefardi/Mizrachi Judaism. Unlike their ideological Ashkenazi brethren, the sefardim differ by geography – Syrian judaism is very different from Egyptian and differ again from both the North Africans and the Spanish & Portuguese. A brief look at their history and differences.

Image from Wikipedia.

Talk: Ashkenazi Judaism

Monday 14th 7:30pm
Park Row Synagogue

Rabbi Mark Daniels will be looking at the history and ideologies behind Ashkenazi Judaism: the chassidim, reform, masorti etc. Ashkenazi Judaism developing in Christian Europe has been heavily impacted by the ideologies of the times – especially the thinking of GW Hegel.

Modern Jewish Thought

Modern Jewish Thought
with Michael Picardie

Join Michael at the Bristol and West Progressive Jewish Congregation on Thursday evenings from 7pm-8:30pm on a journey through the minds and writings of some of the pre-eminent Jewish thinkers of the 20th Century

Thur, 11 February 2016
Shlomo Sand: The Invention of the Jewish People—New Perspectives on Zionism and Jewish Identity

Thur, 10 March 2016
Martin Buber: I and Thou—Jewish Existentialism and Its Links with Emmanuel Levinas

Thur, 14 April 2016
Richard Rubenstein: After Auschwitz—Post-Holocaust Jewish Theology including the effect of Elie Wiesel’s, Primo Levi’s, Victor Frankl’s, and Anne Frank’s experience and writing

Thur, 12 May 2016
Rav Kook and Daniel Matt in Essential Kabbalah, by Daniel Matt, and Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan—Learning Jewish Meditation through Kabbalah and Yoga, especially exploring the figure of Adam Kadmon / Chava Kadmona.

For more information, please contact Michael Picardie on mike.picardie@clara.co.uk.

All are welcome. Donations also welcome.

Children’s Service: Mishpatim

Children’s Service this Shabbat
Saturday, February 6th

Join us at our gentle parent-led children’s service this Shabbat at Park Row Synagogue.

We’ll be retelling and discussing this week’s Parsha (Torah story), Mishpatim, singing songs, and playing games.  The service will be followed by a small kiddush.

Children of all ages welcome! 

Religion as a Survival Mechanism

René Girard

Dr Richard Johnson, lecturer in Religious Studies for the Open University, will talk to us about Religion as a Survival Mechanism: The influential theory of René Girard on the evolutionary role of religion in containing and regulating human desire and violence.

Monday, the 8th February
7.15pm for 7.30pm

Bristol University Multi-faith Chaplaincy
Woodland Rd.

Contribution of £3.00 for room hire, refreshments, etc. (£2.00 for National CCJ members)

Presented by The Council for Christian and Jews, Avon Branch

Diverse Doors Open Day

The next Open Day at Park Row will be the ‘Diverse Doors Open Day’ on Sunday 28 February 2016.

Organised by the Bristol Multi-Faith Forum and hosted by members of our community, this will be an opportunity to visit our beautiful synagogue, and find out more about the building, the history of Jews in Bristol and England, and our services, practices and beliefs.

We will be open to the public from 11am-4pm.

Click to view the event leaflet.

Forced Walks

Honouring Esther

The line of a Nazi Death March transposed and returned. 

Thursday 4 and Friday 5 February, Lower Saxony.

Repatriating memories. Making the connections. Generating the resonances.

Join the walk. Take part on foot or online. Thurs/Fri 4 and 5 Feb 2016

A performative walk-in-witness on the original death march route from slave labour camp to death camp. In Germany, 71 years later, to the day.  10 interventions at the same ‘stations’ as the Somerset walk. Resonances.

Richard White and Lorna Brunstein and other walkers will complete follow as far as possible the exact route of the death march into Bergen-Belsen. They invite others to join them on foot and online. Seventy-one years after Esther Brunstein and other survivors of the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz were marched at gunpoint from the slave labour camp near Hanover to Belsen, their steps will be retraced.

If you would like to join the walk complete the contact form at the bottom of the page. More information click here

The walk follows the same model as the walk in Somerset actively seeking to generate human rights resonances.  For second and third generation survivors, liberators, perpetrators and witnesses as well as those more recently exiled and dispossessed by war and prejudice, the walk offers a space for moments of reconnection, reconciliation, reflection and solidarity. Given the welcome extended by Germany to refugees these resonances will be strong.

The walk will remind us that a refugee’s journey continues until they find safety and a welcome and a sense of belonging. For many it is a life long search. In the end we are all migrants and we all need safety, security, love and friendship.


A Talk from Jonathan Arkush

A Talk from Jonathan Arkush,
President of the Board of Deputies
28 January

This year, at the Bristol and West Progressive Jewish Congregation (BWPJC) AGM, which will be held on Thursday, 28 January, 2016, at 7pm, Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies, will be speaking.

He will be speaking first thing and “BWPJC business” will be discussed afterward. The BWPJC Council would like to extend an invitation to all of the Bristol Hebrew Congregation to join them to hear Mr. Arkush speak at 7pm on the evening (there will be some light refreshments during a short break afterward prior to moving on to the synagogue-specific business).

For more information please contact the BWPJC community here:

Tu BiShvat

Join us for a family walk, Tu Bishvat walk in the woods. BYOpicnic to share with others in Leigh Woods and celebrate the New Year of the Trees.