Shabbat for Israel at Kenton Synagogue with special guest Rabbi Benjy Myers

Kenton Synagogue was delighted to welcome Rabbi Benjy Myers from Kibbutz Migdal Oz for their special Israel Shabbat. around seven kilometres from the Green Line. Rabbi Myers was born in Bradford and his parents made Aliyah shortly thereafter.

His father, also a Rabbi then took an appointment in Australia before returning to the United Kingdom. Rabbi Benjy Myers made Aliyah following his studies at University, and also served as the Community Kollel and Rav Shaliach for the Bnei Akiva in Dallas Texas. The Kibbutz has a large Dairy, one of the largest in the country and grows crops including grapes and has a high tech industry too.

Rabbi Myers in addition to his Rabbinic and Chazan duties performs tasks on a rotational basis, milking the cows in the Dairy for example! He has a full time position as Educational Director of the Ohr Torah Stone Education network as well as the CFOIC Heartlands’ representative, hosting groups on the Kibbutz.

Another responsibility that Rabbi Myers has is Head of the Settlement’s Civil Response Team. On October 7th, the Kibbutz’s Kitat Konenout, the citizens’ militia responsibility for protecting their community had received their first briefing at eight in the morning. They made the decision to celebrate Simchat Torah on the Football pitch close to the shelters in order that the community could take cover if necessary, having already learnt that rockets were being fired in close proximity.

Members of the Kenton community were privileged to hear Rabbi Myers speak on Friday night at the home of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Black. His theme was Shabbat at War: creating Shalom Bayit under Threat of Terror describing what had occurred on October 8th at the Kibbutz when there was a terrorist threat. On Shabbat he gave a D’hrosha on A Mentsch-Thoughts on the Beit HaMikdash, Moshe Rabbeinu and developing a resilient society during war. He stressed the importance of coming together as a community and doing good. Following the Service there was a delicious Israeli Style Kiddush organised by the Ladies Guild and a Question and Answer session. Rabbi Myers subsequently gave a further talk at the home of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Black between Mincha and Ma’ariv, describing his personal reflections and Halachic dilemma on October 7th.

The Kenton Community are very grateful and appreciative of the Chief Rabbi’s Centre for Community Excellence for their support in facilitating this special Shabbat. Members felt very fortunate to have been able to host Rabbi Myers, to learn of his experiences carrying such a positive message in the aftermath of the tragedy. Rabbi Myers is such a warm and engaging person with an ability to multi task in so many different ways. The Kibbutz are very fortunate to have him in their Community.

By Rachelle Goldberg

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