More than 100 members of the St Annes community enjoyed a packed Shabbat UK programme. On Friday night guest speaker Richard Verber spoke about current national and international affairs in his role as Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies. After Shabbat morning there was a Grand Shabbat UK kiddush and after Shabbat the St Annes Rabbi, Rabbi Ephraim Guttentag led congregants in a musical havdallah before Richard Verber spoke about his professional work for World Jewish Relief and delivered an entertaining talk on ‘The secret Jewish history of vodka’ with tastings from across Eastern Europe. Rabbi Guttentag also took part in the Shabbat UK Rabbis’ Bad Joke Challenge.
Rabbi Guttentag said: “We had a wonderful weekend. Shabbat UK brought the community together to celebrate Shabbat in a traditional way and I hope it will have a lasting impact. I was humbled and honoured that Richard Verber and his wife Naomi chose to spend Shabbat UK with us. It was enlightening and inspiring to hear about the work of the Board of Deputies and World Jewish Relief, two organisations our community supports. Congregants thoroughly enjoyed Richard’s talk on Friday night and his presentation on Saturday night. We look forward to welcoming him back to St Annes soon.”
Richard Verber said: “We were treated to a wonderful Shabbat with the community in St Annes. There’s nothing quite like northern hospitality. It’s so important that the Board of Deputies continues to travel across the length and breadth to hear from local Jewish communities and it’s always rewarding to meet World Jewish Relief supporters and update them on our lifesaving work around the world. Plus who doesn’t like a drop of vodka?”