Ohr Yisrael Synagogue
Borehamwood
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The Federation Synagogue in Elstree & Borehamwood
The small shul with the big heart.

GEMACH


"Acts of kindness"

A Gemach is a Hebrew abbreviation composed of the three Hebrew letters gimmel, mem and chet, it stands for Gemillut Chasadim which literally translates as "acts of kindness".

A Gemach is a Hebrew abbreviation composed of the three Hebrew letters gimmel, mem and chet, it stands for Gemillut Chasadim which literally translates as "acts of kindness".

Our Gemach was set up in loving memory of my late grandmother Mrs Anita Glyn (formally of Golders Green) and the mother of one of our congregants in the shul, Mrs Anita Slyper (formally of Cardiff).

Anytime something is lent out it should be a merit and spiritual benefit to their souls in heaven. It is run under the auspices of our shul - Ohr Yisrael, Elstree.

A gemach is an organisation that has a store from which it can lend out for free. The Talmud tells us that the Jewish People are recognised by 3 characteristics one of which is loving kindness. And from time immemorial Jews have long been known for their goodwill or charitable free-loan societies.

We felt that there are many things that people may require when making a simcha they are simply unable to afford or source. Therefore we offer this service free of charge to whoever may need it. We ask for a refundable deposit in case anything gets broken and then afterwards one can give us a donation for the upkeep of the gemach.

We offer a wide variety of items as. These include a bridal chair, where the bride sits before her chuppah. She looks very regal in it as the groom comes to "Bedeck" her and check she is the bride he will indeed marry. "Shtick" which enhances the dancing at the wedding.

Usually when the bride and groom come in they come under the arches that have been specially designed for us. During the evening we offer cheer leading batons an umbrella with ribbon on to dance with and a basket that can be filled with sweets of confetti that can be thrown to the dancing circles.

Our chuppah was kindly donated by Sunderland Shul, which after many decades has closed down. We are very grateful to them for this and hope that many couples can be united under this old traditional wedding canopy for a long and happy future together.

We have been very fortunate to have 2 very special people from the community who have agreed to give of their services for free. My father in law is a trained chazzan and will sing under the chuppah for no charge. His beautiful melodies have really enhanced many simchas and for a person with financial stress this is one expense that they are relieved they do not have to pay for. We also have a professional photographer has offered his services at no cost to a needy bride.

For other general simchas we have a beautiful bris pillow that has been donated for the new born baby boy to lie on and be more comfortable during his bris. Hot plates and urns are very popular when people have a large crowd over for a simcha on Shabbat and need extra facilities. Please E Mail Deborah Garson: rebbetzen@ohr-yisrael.org.uk