From schools to shuls: celebrations fit for a King!

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From schools to shuls: celebrations fit for a King!

A look at how the Jewish community is celebrating the historic coronation of King Charles III

As the country gears up for an historic coronation this weekend, Community Editor Michelle Rosenberg looks at how the Jewish community is coming out in force to celebrate the ascension of King Charles III.

London charity Food Bank Aid tells Jewish News: “We are encouraging people to collect a bag of coronation goodies at their street parties, and have set-up a virtual shopping website so people can buy them.”

His Majesty, the former Prince of Wales’ patronage of World Jewish Relief is long standing; six members of the charity’s staff will attend the Buckingham Palace Garden Party, and another six the Coronation Concert.

In a unique musical tribute that has gone viral on YouTube with over 50,000 views, 200 primary school children from five Jewish schools across London have recorded a new hymn composition of Adon Olam.

Immanuel College Primary school students take part in Adon Olam Coronation recording. Pic: Immanuel

Recorded by the United Synagogue Schools Coronation Choir, it was composed by Stephen Levey and arranged by The Portnoy Brothers, and features the voices of children from Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, Immanuel College Preparatory School, Immanuel College Senior School, Mathilda Marks-Kennedy Jewish Primary School, Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School and Sinai Primary School.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this historic recording of Adon Olam,” said+ Levey, who is Immanuel College’s Director of Music. “It is a privilege to work with such talented musicians and singers from the Jewish community, and we hope that this new adaptation will bring joy and inspiration to all who hear it.”

Mathilda Marks-Kennedy school kicked off their Coronation celebrations by creating bunting and flags, before practicing the National Anthem and singing at the whole-school Coronation assembly, dressed in the colours of the Union Flag.

The afternoon was dedicated to making crafts and doing special activities to mark the occasion; every class drew their own portrait of the King and took home a photograph of themselves standing next to the His Majesty inside a photo frame that they decorated in red, white and blue.

Gesher School tells Jewish News it is looking forward to an exciting and festive week, with a range of activities, including a baking day with students and parents, arts and crafts creating photo frames, salt dough crowns, actual crowns and sensory activities, with secondary students creating a commemorative coin, Union Jack jars and taking part in a royal quiz. There will also be a commemorative school photo and a picnic in the park complete with games and music.

Dressing up at the London Jewish Family Centre in Golders Green.

The London Jewish Family Centre in Golders Green celebrated last week with royal fancy dress and arts and crafts activities, making Coronation bookmarks, Coronation teddy bears, Union Jack flags as well as special Coronation bracelets and key rings.

UHC Leeds cross communal coronation celebration, 2nd May 2023

The United Hebrew Congregation in Leeds, (UHC) held a cross communal service of celebration to mark the coronation. Rabbi Albert Chait told Jewish News: “We are very proud to mark this huge milestone in British history and we offer our sincerest Mazal Tov to King Charles III. He has been and continues to be a source of immense friendship to the Jewish community.

“I have been with him twice in the last few months and his interest in me as a Rabbi and communal leader was truly uplifting and overwhelming. He may be the ‘Defender of the Faith’ – but his commitment and support of all religion, in my eyes, makes him the ‘Defender of all Faith’. I couldn’t be prouder or feel any more lucky enough to have received my MBE from him just a few weeks ago.”

UHC Leeds Cross Communal coronation celebration, 2nd May 2023, with Rabbi Albert Chait, MBE

Jewish Care’s residents, community centre and dementia day centre members, volunteers & staff are celebrating the Coronation together, planting King Charles III Rosebushes and holding Coronation tea parties across the campuses and care homes.

Speaking to Jewish News, the charity said: “We had volunteers come along as part of The Big Help Out (community volunteer initiative inspired by King Charles III) and Rebbetzen Shoshana Landau of Barnet United Synagogue joined everyone at Jewish Care’s Betty and Asher Loftus Centre yesterday for the first of the parties.”

King Charles III Rosebushes & Coronation parties across Jewish Care as residents, members, volunteers GraingePhotography

The Rebbetzen led the ceremony for rosebush planting of the King Charles III rosebushes and read the new prayer by The Chief Rabbi for King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla with residents which was followed by a rousing round of the national anthem.


In 2001, Jewish Care continued, “King Charles III (then Prince Charles) opened Jewish Care’s Rosetrees care home which is now part of Jewish Care’s Betty and Asher Loftus Centre.”

Rabbi Yossi & Rachel Jacobs of Singers Hill Synagogue in Birmingham met King Charles at the Coronation Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on 3rd May. Rabbi Jacobs shook the King’s Hand, told him that the community will be praying for him on Saturday, which the king thanked him for, joking that they had chosen the wrong day for the event.

Rabbi Yossi & Rachel Jacobs of Singers Hill Synagogue, Birmingham, outside Buckingham Palace.

Tenants at Jewish Blind & Disabled (JBD) Hilary Dennis Court development in Wanstead, east London are planning a coronation party, whilst Head Room, the mental health cafe run by Jewish community mental health service JAMI, is running a special Coronation tea (reservations only) on Sunday 7th May. Featuring a selection of filled brioches, cakes, scones with cream and jam and a choice of English breakfast or mint tea, tickets can be purchased here.

Kisharon is celebrating the occasion with a party that people supported by the learning disability charity organised themselves. They have planned a whole day of events including entertainment and volunteering activities to help others in the community. A showing of the Coronation will be viewed as part of the festivities that will take place on Monday.

Left to right at UHC Leeds: Chief Constable John Robins QPM DL, Martha Wilcock, Arielle Chait, Lord Mayor Councillor Robert W Gettings MBE JP; Pic: Jonathan Straight

To respect the King’s request to volunteer on Monday for ‘The Big Help Out’ Kisharon will be also collecting for a local food bank. Themed activities are taking place in the week leading up to the Coronation at Kisharon Noé School with an afternoon tea and Tuffkid nursery too.

People supported by Kisharon on the Coronation committee said: “We would like to invite the King to the Coronation party we are making. Thank you to the King for what he does to help other people”.

AJEX JMA members are taking part in local celebrations over the bank holiday weekend and chief executive Fiona Palmer will be attending the Board of Deputies event on the Thursday evening ahead of the Coronation. Mike Bluestone, AJEX JMA Vice Chairman, will be representing the organisation at The Mayor of Brent’s Coronation Lunch.

The London School of Jewish Studies explored Jewish writers’ portrayal of the monarchy through the ages in an online session with educator  Dr Aviva Dautch.

Coronation Choir.

To celebrate the Coronation, GIFT has declared the bank holiday Monday May 8th, a day to give back by- putting on an extra special GIVEFEST for 2023.

Taking place in NW7, the afternoon will be filled with rides and activities, entertainment and meaningful volunteering opportunities. The charity promises it will be “a day full of fun for the entire family”. Book your tickets by visiting

JLiving, the leading Jewish community housing association, is celebrating in style with parties, afternoon teas and plenty of bunting. They told Jewish News that “many of our schemes including Harmony Close/Meta Worms Court and Young Court will be getting together to toast the health of the new King! Huge thanks must go to the JBG Housing Trust for part funding these events so that our tenants can enjoy the celebrations.”

Jewish Museum London Chair Nick Viner with Coronation Display Case, May 2023.

The Jewish Museum has created a spotlight case display with a selection of special objects from its designated collections that celebrate ties between the Jewish community in the UK and the Royal Family. The Museum will be open to the public on Sunday 7 May during the Coronation weekend.

Whilst many will be glued to the TV, lining the streets or at street parties on Saturday morning to mark the historic event, Shabbat morning services will still be taking place in reform synagogues across the UK.

Rabbi Miriam Berger and her 12-year old son at Finchley Reform synagogue.

Finchley Reform Synagogue, will be learning with their long time member and warden David Jacobs, a leading expert on Jewish history. He will be sharing liturgies written for previous Coronations as well as showing the development of the prayer for the Royal family.

The service will be co-led by Finchley Reform’s Principal Rabbi Miriam Berger together with her 12 year old son. They have been busy preparing to sing their traditional Shabbat liturgy to a number of patriotic and traditional British compositions. The community are looking forward to scones with Kiddush.


St. Albans Masorti synagogue is celebrating the Coronation with volunteering at a community garden in the centre of St Albans, telling Jewish News: “We will be planting and clearing hopefully alongside some of our counterparts from a local church and Muslim community. There will also be bunting!”

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