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This year, PURIM FESTIVITIES will be spread across Etz Chaim, BHH and UHC. Please check carefully for where and when events are taking place. 

This is going to be a Purim EXTRAVAGANZA to remember - BOOK your tickets NOW, at to avoid disappointment!

You can also contact us in the office to book for ANY of the events.


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Deli Meat Buffet Feast!

6pm: Maariv

6.25pm: Hakafot and dancing.  Party bags for the Kids!

7.45pm: Deli Diner Time!

Join us for an informal fun Deli Diner Expereience:

Cold Meats, Pickles, mustard and Ketchup

(Vegetarian alternative available)

Mind Bogglingly low price - Just £6 per person

Under 5's eat free!

Pre-booking is essential at

Or please call the Shul Office on 0113 2662214.


Children's entertainer at 11am.


Following the Hakafot, dancing and service.  Join us and our Chatan Torah and Chatan Bereshit for a delicious lunch in the RV Hall.

Special guidance for Fast of Av that occurs after Shabbat.

Dear friends

As this year the Fast of Av starts straight after Shabbat, some practices differ from the regular; this is a brief overview of these points:

·         This year one doesn’t eat before the beginning of the fast the traditional Final Mealwhich consists of a hard-boiled egg and a piece of bread dipped in ashes. Instead one has normal Seudah Shelishit [the third meal of Shabbat] which may be eaten till 8.35 pm.

  • The fast commences at 8.35 pm.  From this moment it is forbidden to eat, drink, and wash one’s hands or face or to rinse the mouth. 
  • Shabbat doesn’t terminate till 9.36 pm. All the laws of Shabbat have to be observed till this time
  • One should notchange into shoes appropriate for Fast of Av, and to sit on a low chair before 9.36pm.
  • At the termination of Shabbat at 9.36pm one should announce “Baruch ha-mavdil bein kodesh le-chol” – “Blessed is the One who distinguishes between the sacred and the mundane”. After that, one should change into shoes appropriate for Fast of Av [shoes without any leather component]
  • Afterwards one should light a candle, look at the flame and recite the blessing “Baruch atah … Melech haolam, borei m'orei ha-eish”- Blessed areYou… Sovereign of the universe, Creator of fire.
  • As one may not drink on Fast of Av, the regular ceremony of Havdallahover a cup of wine is not performed at the end of Shabbat.
  • The ceremony of Havdallah is not cancelled this year but rather postponed. After the fast terminates on Sunday at 9.18 pm Havdallahshould be recited over cup of wine or grape juice in the usual manner. In this Havdallahwe omit the blessings over spices and fire. TheHavdallahis notmarking the termination of fast; it is postponed Havdallahmarking the termination of Shabbat 
  • A person, who due to ill health has to break the fast, has to recite Havdallahprior to breaking the fast. This Havdallah should be recited over a cup of tea or coffee rather than wine or grape juice and instead of the blessing “Baruch atah...Melech haolam, borei p'ri hagafen” one should say “Baruch atah...Melech haolam, shehakol nih'ye bidvaro.
  • This year (as opposed to normal years when some of the mourning practices are observed till the next day) one is permitted to do laundry immediately after the termination of the fast; however one is not permitted to eat meat or drink wine (except for Havdallah) till Monday.

May we soon merit the fulfillment of the prophecy:"The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah”!

Shavuot June 2016 / 5776



Dear friends

Shavuot is probably the most important of all the Festivals in Jewish calendar. Why? Because all the other Festivals owe their very existence to a singular event that happened on Shavuot! This event was the Sinai Revelation when G-d gave us His Torah where, among other things, we learn about the Festivals.

If not for G-d’s Torah we wouldn’t even know about the Festivals, and since it was on Shavuot that the Torah was given to us therefore it is fair to say that Shavuot is the “Festival of all Festivals”. If someone does not feel that Shavuot - the day when the Torah was given to us is worthy of a celebration, then why should they celebrate Pesach? We know about Pesach only from the Torah and if the Torah is not a cause for celebration then why Pesach is a cause for celebration?  Just in order to have an excuse to eat some chremslach?

Talking about chremslach and such; even the traditional Shavuot Cheesecake has been introduced because of the Torah. When our ancestors received the Torah at Mount Sinai, they found that all their meat plus the cooking pots were now considered not kosher as it wasn’t slaughtered and prepared according to Torah instructions. The only alternative was to eat dairy, which doesn’t require specific preparation in order to be kosher. So, when you eat the cheesecake remember that it is not just a cheesecake - it is a reminder of the laws of kashrus. Be careful not to eat it with meat or soon after eating meat, and also don’t eat it from a ‘meaty’ plate.

As this year the Festival of Shavuot is preceded by Shabbat we are going to have a continuous three-day celebration; Shabbat – Shavuot 1st day - Shavuot 2nd day. It is a fabulous celebration surely, but it also presents certain challenges; however nothing is too difficult as long as we are prepared well in advance: 

Friday 10th of June

Make sure before Shabbat that you lit a few extra long (72 hours) yahrzeitcandles. You will need them later on Yom Tov!

Shabbat 11th of June

Try to get this Shabbat afternoon a good, long sleep - you are going to be awake very late at night!

As this is the eve of Shavuot we don’t have Seuda Shelishit in Shul (you should try to have something small at home for a nominal Seuda Shelishit); we come to shul for Mincha only at 6.00 pm and go back home (another opportunity to catch some sleep).

No preparations should be made for the Festival of Shavuot until Shabbat has terminated at 10.48pm! Food may be cooked or heated only after this time. The Yom Tov candles should be lit no earlier than 10.48 pm! (Leeds).

First Night and Day of Shavuot, June 11-12

There are many activities which are forbidden on Shabbat but permissible on Shavuot, such as igniting fire (only from another existing fire!), cooking and carrying objects on the street.  Even after 10.48pm all such activities must wait until one verbally "separates" between Shabbat and the Festival. This is called Havdalah – Separation.  When we recite the festive Evening Service – Ma’ariv (we start in shul at 10.48pm) the prayer includes a special havdalah themed insert, the Va'to-de'aynu paragraph in the Amidah- Standing Prayer section of the night's prayers (easy to find in your Machzor or Siddur).

If someone stays at home and after 10.48pm wants to light the candles for Yom Tov, or to start any preparations for Yom Tov, prior to doing it, they should say; "Baruch hamavdil bayn kodesh likodesh" -- "Blessed is the One who separates  between (the) holiness (of Shabbat) and (the) holiness (of the holiday)".

The formula for the B’rachah for Yom Tov candles is … Lehadlik ner shel Yom Tov.

Some people make the B’rachah Shehechiyanu when they light the candles and some wait with it till Kiddush.

Having in mind the laws of Yom Tov, one should remember that even after Shabbat has terminated the candles may not be kindled from a match, but only from a pre-existing flame from before Shabbat (you can light a match from a yahrzeit candle lit before Shabbat). After lighting the candles place the match you used to light the candles in an ashtray without putting it off.  If you don’t have existing fire at home don’t light the Yom Tov candles!

The Kiddush for this evening incorporates Havdalah, as it is the time of departure of Shabbat; the whole text of the kiddush/havdalah can be found in your standard or holiday prayer book. For this Havdalah we don’t use the besamim-aromatic spices. Direct your fingertips towards the Yom Tov candles and recite the B’rachah “Baruch atah … Melech haolam, borei m'orei ha-eish”. Finish the Havdalah, as stated in your Machzor/Sidur, Hamavdil ben Kodesh L’kodesh.  Conclude the Kiddush/Havdalah with the B’rachah Shehechiyanu.

By now it is probably around 11.30pm; don’t try to have a typical Festive meal but rather have something light. Some people have a custom to have this meal made of dairy products.

After the meal you have two fabulous options how to celebrate Shavuot:

If you fancy some all-night learning, then please come along at 12.45am to Etz Chaim for the Tikkun Leil Shavuot; the engaging and informative programme, as well as the yummy cheesecake and refreshments will keep you wide awake till 4.00am. At 4.00am we have quick morning service, finishing about 6.00am – the rest of the day is free to recuperate after sleepless night!

At the regular Minyan at 9.15there will be; Reading of the Ten Commandments, a Baby Naming Ceremony, Children's Story time and blessing, followed by Ice Cream Sundae on Sunday Kiddush!

Second Night and Day of Shavuot, June 12-13

It is preferable neither making any preparations for the second night of Shavuot, nor lighting the candles, making Kiddush and having the second night Festive meal till after 10.36pm.

If you are frail, very tired, have children or guests you can light the candles (in the same manner as on the first day of Shavuot) after 7.52 pm and having the Kiddush and Festive meal straight after. In this case you can prepare the festive evening meal on the day of Shavuot itself. The meal should be terminated before 9.37pm.

Whichever way you go about it please bear in mind that while lighting the Yom Tov candles or preparing food on Yom Tov one should be extra careful not to do anything that is forbidden on Yom Tov such as lighting matches (as opposed to using existing fire), turning on electrical appliances, using hob lighter, putting the fire off after using it etc!

The Kiddush for the second night is the regular Kiddush of Yom Tov; as on the first night, conclude the Kiddush with the B’rachah Shehechiyanu.

Please remember that Yizkor – Memorial Service takes place on the second day of Shavuot, June 13th at about 10.45


Rabbi & Rebbetzin Kupperman and Rabbi & Rebbetzin Gilbert wishing you Happy Shavuot! 

Chanukah Guidance

Dear friends,

As the Chanukah is fast approaching we would like to share with you a few bullet points about the right way to fulfil this beautiful mitzvah

  • Chanukah begins on the evening of Sunday December the 6th - 25th of Kislev and continues for eight days; that means that the first lighting of candles (1 candle + Shamash- additional candle) will take place this Sunday evening, and the last lighting of candles (8 candles + Shamash) will take place on the evening of next Sunday, December the 13th.  
  • It is permitted to work during the days of the Festival of Chanukah; however women do not work and don’t do housework for at least the first half hour of the candles' burning. This is their time to take rest and think about women’s role in Jewish history generally and their impact in the struggle against the Hellenism in particular.
  • There is no obligation to have festive meals; however it is customary to celebrate by eating special meals anyway, because of the fact that the dedication of the Temple and Altar took place during Chanukah.
  • It is customary to eat milk foods because Yehudit, daughter of Yochanan the High Priest, was taken to be defiled by the Greek ruler Holofernes. She fed him cheese (to make him thirsty) and wine (to quench his thirst); and after getting him drunk she killed him. This was one of the events that sparked the Maccabean uprising. Food fried in oil is also eaten to commemorate the miracle of the Menorah. Latkes and donuts are the most common foods. Don’t overdo it!! Health comes first!!
  • It is customary for every member of the household to have one candle on the first night and an additional candle every night (1-8).
  • Any type of oil is acceptable for use in the menorah; however, it is best to use olive oil
  • The menorah should be similar to the Menorah in the Temple; refrain from using electric lights or gas lamps.
  • The light should be clear, and the wicks should not flicker
  • Regular candles are also acceptable, providing they have a single wick.
  • If a number of people are lighting in one household they should make a slight separation between their menorahs so that there is no confusion to the observer as to the number of candles.
  • Ideally, the Menorah should be placed outside the house to the left of the entrance. Since anti-Semitism was so common throughout Jewish history it became customary among may communities to place the Menorah inside the house, near the entrance or on the table. In many families it is the custom to place the menorah in a window facing the street.
  • The Menorah should have all the candles or wicks on the same level, none higher or lower than the others.
  • It is customary to have an additional candle (the shamash) with which to light the other candles and in order to use it's light.
  • The shamash should be placed in a way that shows that it is not one of the Chanukah candles.
  • Place first candle on the extreme right of the Menorah. On the second night add a candle on the left. Light the newest candle first and proceed to the right.
  • The best time to light the candles is straight after dark. In Leeds this time of the year it is around 4.30 pm.
  • It is obligatory to put in enough oil, or a long enough candle to burn for at least 1/2 hour.
  • If one forgot or was not able to light at the correct time, one may light as long as people are still awake in the house in which one is lighting.
  • One should prepare the wicks and candles etc. well before the time of lighting in order to light the Menorah at the correct time.
  • It is best to light in the presence of many people in order to publicise the miracle. If the members of the household are not at home at the beginning of the evening, one should wait with lighting the candles till they come back. 
  • On the first night three brachot- blessings are recited. "Lehadlik ner shel Chanukah", "She asa nissim" and "Shehecheyanu".
  • On the other nights only the first two blessings are said.
  • On Friday afternoon, the Chanukah candles should be lit before the Shabbat candle-lighting time. They cannot be lit too early either. That leaves a rather narrow window of opportunity; the only time to light the Chanukah candles on Friday December the 11th is after 3.00pm and before 3.25pm.
  • After the Chanukah candles were lit, then the Shabbat candles should be lit.    
  • Remember to put in more oil or bigger candles on Friday, so that they burn 1/2 hour after nightfall.
  • When lighting on Saturday night, it should be done after Shabbat is out. On Saturday December the 12th it is forbidden to light the candles or to make any preparations for lighting the candles before 4.43pm.     
  • On Saturday night theHavdalah- the conclusion of Shabbat prayer, should be recited before lighting Chanukah candles (although there are different customs this is the prevailing custom in Leeds). In Synagogue the candles are lit before the Havdalah.
  • If one is going away during the days of Chanukah , they should consult with their rabbi in order to find the best way how not to miss this beautiful mitzvah.

during the days of the Festival of Chanukahh , they should consult with their rabbi in order to find the best way how not to miWishing you all Happy Chanukah!!!

Sponsor a Seudah

Dear Members,


If you wish to sponsor a Shabbos Seudahfor one or more of the available dates below, then please call me on (0113) 2662214 or please respond to this email. 


It is just £35 to sponsor a Seudah, they can be shared, and the quantities can be increased to suit your number of guests. 


Seudah’s can be sponsored for a number of reasons, some of which are for Yahrzeits, Birthdays, Wedding Anniversaries and Bar or Bat mitzvah’s etc. 


Please confirm your date or dates as soon as you can to avoid any disappointment. 


I can also take bookings for any future dates after the 28thMay 2016, thank you.





Donated by: -

5th Dec



12th Dec



19th Dec



26th Dec



2nd Jan



9th Jan



16th Jan



23rd Jan



30th Jan



6th Feb



13th Feb



20th Feb



27th Feb

Ki Tisa


5th March

Shekalim Vayak’Hel


12th March



19th March

Zachor Vayikra


26th March



2nd April

Shabbat Parah Shemini


9th April

Shabbat Hachodesh Tazria


16th April

Shabbat Hagadol Metzora


23rd April



30th April



7th May



14th May



21st May



28th May




Many thanks,




Facebook ......


Etz Chaim is catching up with the times….we now have a closed Facebook page.

This group has been created to promote all the up and coming events at the Shul, so no one will be left out!

If you are on Facebook and you would like to be part of this, please invite yourself to join and I will approve you onto the list! Thank you Nicola.

6 GREAT ways you can Support your Shul!!

Dear Members,

There are 6 GREAT ways you can Support your Shul.

  1. Kiddush / Seudah.
  2. Whiskey
  3. Yahrzeit Plaque / Memorial Leaf
  4. Book Donations
  5. Booking a room
  6. Book and Gift Shop

Maybe you have a Special Birthday, Anniversary, Simcha or another occasion coming up this year!?  Maybe you haven’t booked anything yet!? Please let me help you, and make your occasion a happy one and stress free Jwith your close friends, family and the congregation.

Please call me now on (0113) 2662214, or please email please pop into the Shul office at your leisure.

Why wait! Please BOOK the date now for a Kiddush or Seudah, and confirm the finer details nearer the time.  Dates are filling up, please book now to avoid disappointment.

If you are not able to get to the Bookshop on a Sunday 11am-12.30pm, please let me know and I can arrange for you to collect the items from the Shul Office during the week.

Etz Chaim now have a Facebook page, please request to be added and I will approve you…. Great way to find out what events and meetings are taking place in Your Shul.Happy to answer any questions you may have.

Many thanks for your continued Support as always, here to help.








Tree of LIFE

Etz ChaimOur synagogue whose name translates as ‘tree of life’now has its very own ‘Tree of Life’.

Situated in the Shul foyer, each gold leaf on its branches, will be a permanent reminder of a departed loved one.

Leaves can be inscribed with up to 12 words of your choice, and cost just £250 each.

Payment can be made over 10 monthly instalments of £25.

The tree is limited to only 100 leaves which can be dedicated.

So please place your order quickly.

For more details, contact the Shul office on Leeds 0113 266 2214 or please email

Please let me know if you are interested.

Or an alternative to this are the Memorial Plaques in Shul, which are £120.  They are put up each year on the anniversary of the Yahrzeit date.


Shechita update

The attacks on Shechita continue and increase. All of us need to be part of the defence. Follow the link and have the knowledge to answer when discussing with your colleagues or even when debating with your conscience.

Cemetery Images

You can view the headstone images for New Farnley, Louis Street and hilltop, using the links below:-

The link for the JCR-UK Leeds homepage is:


This includes links for both the Hilltop and New Farnley Cemeteries:

and view images of all of the headstones

DONATIONS TO SHUL ........ Thank you.

If you would like to make a donation to the Etz Chaim Synagogue, you may wish to put it towards one or some of the following:-

  • Sefah Torah - POA
  • Ohel Books - £10 each
  • Shiva Books - £10 each
  • Stone Chumash - £34
  • New Singers Siddur - £18 each
  • Artscroll Siddur / Machzor - £23
  • Basic Kiddush - £185
  • Special Kiddush - £345
  • Shared Kiddush - £92.50 / £172.50
  • Seudah - £35
  • Shared Seudah - £17.50
  • Whiskey - £20 a bottle

If you would like to donate a book or books, we are happy to insert a book plate in the front of it for you and any information you require in it.

Please call the office on (0113) 2662214 or please email and we would be happy to help you. 

You can now also transfer your payment by BACS online to:-

Account Name:- Trustees of New Central Vilna Synagogue

Sort Code:- 40-27-15

Account Number:- 71892347

Please email and let us know if you have made a donation online and what it is towards.

Thank you for your kind and generous support.

Sponsoring a Kiddush or Seudah

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPONSOR ...... a Kiddush and or a Seudah!!

If you are interested in sponsoring a Kiddush or Seudah please call the Etz Chaim Office on (0113) 2662214 and speak to Nicola or Stanley and we would be happy to talk you through the different options and prices. 

There are many reasons for sponsoring a Kiddush or Seudah... some examples are for:-

  • Bar or Bat Mitzvah
  • Wedding / Auf Rufs
  • Wedding Anniversary's
  • Birthdays
  • Yahrzeits
  • General Donation towards a Kiddush

Even if it's a year away please get in touch and book the date in the diary.

Thank you for supporting your Shul.

Whiskey Donations please .....

Whisky Galore!

Are we the best shul in Leeds?  - Of course we are, but there is one thing keeping up from being perfect...and that is a decent malt whisky at Kiddush on Shabbat!

With your help this is going to change....we are now looking for donations to start the ball rolling.

We only need 52 bottles or so a year, so gentlemen (and ladies), if you want to mark a special occasion such as a Yahrzeit or birthday, or just donate for the fun of it, please contact the shul office.

Bottles are £20 each (the shul will do the purchasing).

Please contact the shul office with your donation.

Phone 0113 266 2214

Ready Steady Latkes

To make your own Latkes you will need:-

  • 2 lb Potatoes
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Matza Meal
  • Oil for Frying

Peel the potatoes and onions.  Pass them through the funnel of food processor, or grate by hand.

Place the grated mixture in a colander or sieve to drain any liquid.  It is important that the mixture is not wet, as the Latke will not bind, and become spiky when fried.

Whilst this is draining, heat your oil either in a shallow frying pan or a deep fat fryer.

Place the drained mixture in a bowl and mix in the beaten egg, salt and matza meal.

This mixture is now ready to fry in small balls.

In a shallow pan this would take about 2 minutes on either side.  To deep fry, this should take about 3 minutes.  Drain on kitchen paper and eat as soon as possible.


These are lovely eaten on their own, or with meals like salt beef or viennas.  In America, people eat them with apple sauce and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.  They are also lovely with sour cream and chive dip, or creme fresh and smoked salmon.

Chanukah Doughnut Recipe

Chanukah Doughnuts

This recipe is really better made with milk and butter, but I have tried to make them with soya milk and tomor and they do work.  I'm sure you will prefer them washed down with tea or coffee, though.

125 ml milk

15g butter

250g strong White flour

1/2 sachets yeast or 2 teaspoons fresh yeast

Pinch of salt

225 g caster sugar

1 egg

strawberry jam

Oil for frying


Warm the milk and butter in a pan until the butter is melting.  Put the flour, yeast salt and 25g of the sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat the egg into the milk, then mix it into the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon. Now with your hands, or a dough hook in a mixer, knead well.

The dough should be a smooth round ball. Put this into a greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave it somewhere warm for a couple of hours, it should double in size.

Punch the dough down, then knead again.  Roll it out to 2cm thick and cut out circles with a 4cm cookie cutter.  Flatten the circles then put a tiny blob of jam in the middle, seal this with your hands and roll back into a circle.

Heat your oil, then fry on both sides, it should take about 4-5 minutes. Drain quickly on kitchen paper, then roll in the sugar to coat.

Etz Chaim Bookshop opportunity

IF YOU'RE interested in books – particularly those with a Jewish theme – then a great opportunity has arisen in the Etz Chaim Bookshop.

We need someone who can spare an hour-and-a-half on Sunday mornings (between 11am and 12.30pm) who can either help to run the Bookshop with another, or to run it solo on that morning.

If you're interested please contact Stanley Morris at the Etz Chaim office on Leeds 0113 266 2214.

Volunteers wanted


Gentlemen - your synagogue needs you!

We need your assistance in setting up a regular 52 week of the year ROTA. 

We require your help for the following days

  Mornings - Mon / Tues / Wed / Thurs / Fri

Evenings - Mon / Tues / Wed / Thurs

The more men who come forward to help out, the less often you will be asked to volunteer.

Please bear in mind that it could be you who goes to Shul for a loved one's Yahrzeit and are unable to say Kaddish due to a lack of a Minyan.  Please put your name forward to volunteer for the Rota.  You can state which day of the week you are available and whether you are available for the morning or evening service.  If you need transport to and from Shul please advise.  We will do our utmost to oblige.

Sarnie time at Gourmet!

Sunday is Sarnie Day

Freshly-made Hot Salt Beef Sandwiches

Delicious - and only £3.49 each


Freshly-made Coleslaw and Egg & Onion

Gourmet Foods, Sandhill Drive, Harrogate Road, Leeds

- the only supervised Kosher butcher in Leeds

Email Address - Please update the Shul Office!!

If you have an email address or your email address has changed! and you would like to recieve our weekly updates then please call or email the office.

(0113) 2662214 or

Thank you,

Etz Chaim Office.



Have you got news for us?

IF YOU have any good news to share with the Shul e.g. births, engagements, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc would you please inform the Shul office on Leeds 0113 266 2214 or email:

It would be lovely to think that we can share the good times with our members as well as the sad times. We can only do this with your help.

Wanted: Your stories and photos

THE NEXT issue of the Etz Chaim's award-winning newsletter, Shabbat Shalom, is looking for articles and photos for its next issue.  If you have any stories or pictures – or ideas for future items – then please get in touch by emailing: or you can call the shul office on Leeds 0113 266 2214 with details.

Shabbat Shalom has twice been named Synagogue Newsletter of the Year in national competitions organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and sponsored by the Jewish Chronicle.

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