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


A young community with everything you need.

Come and enjoy the wide range of activities at Ohr Yisrael – soak up the wonderful warm atmosphere or better still join in. There should be something for all ages, attitudes and interests – and if not we are always open to new suggestions and happy to try new ideas.


Services take place every day of the year (some Mincha and/or Maariv services are shared with/at the United Shul). There are services for children every Shabbat and Yom Tov. Come along and pray, listen, join in and take part of the service. We are always looking for budding/aging volunteers to take a service, lein the parasha, chant the haphtorah and for children who want to do Anim Zemiros or Adon Olam.

We have lots of kids so the Children’s services are always busy and bustling - bring your kids, sing along with them and even take a service.

Food and Drink

Every Shabbat and Yom Tov there’s a tasty Kiddush to enjoy which needs sponsoring, preparing and best of all eating. Often there is hot food (cholent or borekas) and there’s also a decent scotch with the Kiddush – don’t forget to donate a bottle every now and again.

And when time allows there is also a themed Seuda between Mincha and Maariv accompanied by a shiur from the Rabbi. We have had Scottish, French, Polish, Iraqi, Adenite and many more – sponsor and you can choose.

Through the year there are many celebrations and events (see below) which of course wouldn’t be complete without food.


Our Daf HaYom shiur is currently on hold and is due to resume shortly. Rabbi Garson's weekly Halacha Shiur is now stuying the laws of Kashrut.

In addition Rabbi Garson educates the men of the community with informal home study groups called the 1201 club, regular ladies shiurim and organises regular cross communal events and seminars.

For more details please see our education section.

Continuing with “Borehamwood & Elstree Bet Hamidrash”

Becoming more popular week by week an initiative open to alll men & women. The program incorporates the current Hilchot Shabbat Shiur by Rabbi Garson, together with 1-1 Seed Program.


Deborah educates with informal interactive workshops including ‘Keeping it Together - Jewish Family‘ New series on the wisdom of Jewish Parenting led by Deborah Garson. Even the best families need improvement so here's your opportunity to join an informal, friendly and non- judgemental (yes it is for Jews!) discussion group. For more information please contact Juliet Summerfield: julietsummerfield@btinternet.com

In addition there are several parenting worktops where she inspires and educates the young mothers of our community, teaching parenting skills from cradle to teenage years.

With many other opportunities including special batmitzvah courses for girls. Please check our latest newsletter for details.

Our Library

There are many books in the shul which will soon be available to borrow – perhaps you have books at home that you would like to donate or lend to the library.


If you see something you like then book and come along – if you have suggestions or want to help organise events then please contact a board member.

Friday Night Fever @ The Feds

Dates to be announced.

Come & experience an evening of inspiration fun, food & laughter. Enjoy great speakers, games for all ages, great food & the warmth of our shul. Speakers include Rabbi Raphy Garson and world renowned guest speaker Rabbi Chanoch Teller.
Tickets available until the Sunday before. Must pre-book, limited spaces available. £7: adult, £5 child
For more details please contact Rik Saunderson: ohryisraelshul@gmail.com

Journeys to Poland, Morocco, Gibralta & Lithuania

Full program and details to follow. We have had four ‘life changing’, ‘eye opening’, ‘awe inspiring’ , ‘deeply moving’ trips to Poland all brilliantly planned and led by Rabbi Garson and Zvi Sperber (J Roots) and accompanied by a survivor. Giving not just an understanding of the horror of the holocaust but also the vibrancy of the Jewish life that it destroyed and the amazing and courageous stories of some of its victims and survivors. If you haven’t been to Poland – ‘GO!’ and even if you have then this is a fantastic opportunity to gain greater insight and understanding.
We also run similarly inspiring trips to Morocco and Gibraltar. Please get in touch with Rabbi Garson for more details or to sign up to our next trip.