Kenton members were delighted to be able to celebrate the Bat Mitzvah ceremony of Rhona Brickman together with her family and friends. It was also a welcome opportunity for a double Mazal tov since Rhona was celebrating her 80th birthday. Johnnie Brickman z’l, Rhona’s husband was Chairman of the Shul from 2007-2010. The couple had been members for over fifty years and Rhona continues in her own right. Their son Andrew and daughter Gail had been Bar Mitzvah and Bat Chayil at Kenton and been married there too. In addition, Andrew and Rozi’s son Alex and daughter Jody have also been Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah in Kenton as well.

Johnnie’s parents Sidney and Vera Brickman z’l were also members. Girls aged twelve were not given the opportunity to undertake learning for a Bat Mitzvah or Bat Chayil until around the 1990s. Rhona had wanted to fulfil this for some time and has given a lead to other women in the Community to think of doing this themselves. She had been prepared by Rebbetzin Black. Her D’var Torah was on the contribution of Women in the Torah especially that of Sarah, Rachel and Leah. Women are a positive force in their communities and contribute so much to the activities and development of their Synagogues. At the conclusion Rhona was presented with a certificate and a Haggadah edited by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z’l.

Her three grandsons Frankie, Alex and Bertie led the Service davening Shacharit, Musaf and Anim Zemirot respectively with her son Andrew doing Haftarah. Following the Service there was a delicious and special Kiddush of Shushi, Cholent, Vegetarian Bites and Fruit. The previous week was a wonderful chance for members of Kenton Shul to have their grandchildren attending the Service which was led by members of the Bnei Akiva. There was a real buzz of excitement. Members of the Bnei Akiva contributed to the occasion by leading Pesukei D’Zimra, Shacharit and Musaf. During the main Service the grandchildren went out for their own Service.

A colourful Kiddush in celebration of the event and Rabbi Black’s special birthday organised by the Ladies Guild was given including Kugel and a Birthday cake. The last Grandparents’ Shabbat had been held in November 2022 so because of its success, members are wanting to organise another later this year.

By Rachelle Goldberg

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