Year 11 enriched by visit to London’s Jewish Museum and Liberal Jewish Synagogue

Year 11 enriched by visit to London’s Jewish Museum and Liberal Jewish Synagogue

11 January 2023

Miss Annabel Bond, Teacher of Theology

On Tuesday 10 January, Year 11 travelled to London to visit the Jewish Museum and a Liberal Jewish Synagogue. This was an excellent refresher of the students’ knowledge and learning of the Judaism GCSE module, and a wonderful opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the Jewish faith, as Poppy explains below.

At the Jewish Museum, the day started with a talk about the Jewish commandments, their history and significance. The students then did a carousel activity, where one group learnt about Jewish food laws, what it means to eat Kosher and how different Jews observe this. Another had the opportunity to look around the museum galleries, including a detailed history of the Jewish people from Biblical times to the modern day, and an insightful exhibition about a Holocaust survivor, which included objects from Auschwitz and audio tapes of him speaking about his experiences. 

In the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, the students heard from a Rabbi and two synagogue leaders about the features and practices within synagogue services, the role of the synagogue and its importance today. Manoli asked a great question about what makes Judaism unique compared to other religions, to which a synagogue leader answered, ‘What other religion has a festival where they dance around their sacred text?!’ (Simchat Torah)

With Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, or if you are interested in finding out more Judaism and its history, there is a very interesting podcast from The Rest is History about a man who escaped Auschwitz. The podcast can be found here.

Poppy W, Year 11

We all got so much out of our visit to the Jewish Museum and Synagogue. As well as information about the religion itself, in very engaging talks by the enthusiastic museum staff, we learnt about the fascinating history behind the Jewish faith. There was so much detail in the museum, from the wide range of artifacts to actual clothes worn by Holocaust survivors. At the Synagogue the different parts of the building were explained to us, which was helpful for our course. We were lucky enough to have a Q&A session with the Synagogue’s Rabbi, who showed us their Torah and talked us through the process of making their Holy Book, which takes between one to three years to write! I found the museum’s gallery especially interesting, with details about the migration of people of Jewish faith around the globe, including to the UK. There was so much rich culture in just a few rooms of artifacts. It was most definitely my favourite and most useful field trip to date.

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