Yom Rivii, 18 Elul 5779
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Ipswich celebrates first bar mitzvah for 140 years
A barmitzvah celebration has taken place in Ipswich for the first time in 140 years.
On Saturday May 9, Jon Emlyn made a little piece of history by reading from the Torah in a special service held under the auspices of the Suffolk Liberal Jewish Community.
In the nineteenth century Ipswich had its own synagogue but the community began to move away in the 1850's and the synagogue was demolished in 1877. The Suffolk Jewish Community was formed by four people in 2005. It affiliated to Liberal Judaism in 2014.
The bar mitzvah boy's mother grew up in New York and his father is from Wales. Family members from both locations, and other local visitors, joined the community for the service.
Beverley Levy, one of the founding members of the community, said: “We don’t have our own premises and we don’t have a Sefer Torah. So we hired a small local theatre and borrowed a Torah from our good friends in the Colchester and District Jewish Community.
“There was a lovely atmosphere, we had lots of visitors and we hope it was a good showcase for Liberal Judaism. We look forward to more families coming to Suffolk and giving us other opportunities like this.”