A welcome from Jules Wendon, chair of WCLS.
We welcome you to West Central Liberal Synagogue (WCLS), whether you are visiting London, travelling through or live in this wonderful vibrant city. WCLS is located in the centre of London in the Bloomsbury district and has a long and illustrious history having been established by Lily Montagu back in 1928. At that time many of the local Jewish community were employed in the fashion industry and as such were obliged to work on Saturday mornings. A solution needed to be found and Miss Lily, as she was known, created the unique concept of a morning Shabbat service that is held at 3 pm in the afternoon. The tradition became engrained and so even though Saturday working in the “rag trade” is no longer the standard for our Community, the 3 pm Service remains a fixed part of our life at WCLS, always followed by Kiddush, tea and schmoozing.
We are proud to be part of Liberal Judaism, with men and women taking equal roles in all aspects of the synagogue, services and community life. We welcome all and should you wish to attend services or enquire further please contact our administrator Carole Schomberg on firstname.lastname@example.org. At present we do not have our own Rabbi and services are being led by visiting Rabbis and lay members with our Cantor, Adrian Harman, also supporting services.
We are delighted that Rabbi Tabick continues to lead Shabbat services and study sessions at WCLS twice a month: Judaism 101 looks at some of the basics in pre service study sessions and post service “Torah Teas” include learning, discussions and tea! All sessions are stand-alone so you can pick and choose your favourite topics. Check the programme on this page for more details.
We look forward to welcoming you to WCLS.
A welcome from Dr Leo Hepner, president of WCLS.
West Central Liberal Synagogue–Unique in the West End
There are many synagogues in London’s West End, some large, some small, some orthodox, some reform, some liberal. But WCLS has a unique characteristic which impresses every visitor when they arrive at 21 Maple Street. This is the friendly atmosphere which greets everyone who meets for the weekly Shabbat service as well as the services for Festivals and High Holidays.
Throughout its 85-year existence WCLS has been the spiritual home of many Jews originally living and working in the West End as well as Jews from many other parts of London. Worshippers who attend weekly services also have another unique characteristic: a tradition of helping and caring for each other, especially for those who are elderly, sick, disabled and/or single. Our services are conducted by visiting senior rabbis as well as by members of our community,with others leading parts of the services; encouraging the community to participate and share in the religious aspects of our synagogue.
All in all WCLS is like a gem, though small it sparkles brightly and we hope many others who do not know the synagogue will come and share our gem. Having been associated with WCLS since 1985, I feel this is part of my life and my family. I welcome you with the traditional blessing “Blessed are you when you come in and blessed are you when you go out.” ‘BruchimHaBaim’