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Erev Shavuot Service, Supper and Tikkun Leil

Thursday, 25 May, 2023 5 Sivan 5783

6:30 PM - 5:00 AM Next Day

Shavuot is a much-loved festival at Westminster and we cannot wait to celebrate this year with you, learning and dairy delights! The evening begins with annual Shavuot Service and Supper, followed by learning until dawn.

We’re delighted to be joined by guest speaker John Bowers KC, Principal, Brasenose College Oxford, who will explore the Free speech in universities and what Jewish law has to say about it, during the Supper.

5:30pm -  Tour of the Czech Scrolls Museum
6:30pm - Erev Shavuot Service
7:15pm - Supper with Keynote speaker John Bowers KC
9:30pm - Tikkun Leil
1:00am-4:00am - Late night Study
4:15am - Community-led Shacharit.

£30 - Service, Dinner & Tikkun Leil
£15 - Tikkun Leil only

Please note that we would never exclude anyone for financial reasons, please do get in touch if you have any concerns.

About John Bowers KC, Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford
After attending Clee Grammar School, Cleethorpes (latterly Matthew Humberstone Comprehensive), John studied at Lincoln College, Oxford. John was called to the Bar in 1979 and took silk in 1998. He has practised primarily in employment law and human rights. He has also been described in a review as "an employment law rock star”. He is listed as the 4th most reported advocate in the Industrial Relations Law Reports (IRLR). John was Chambers & Partners Employment Silk of the Year 2010.

He acted in most of the major industrial disputes over the past decades.  His landmark cases include a European Court of Human Rights application on the employment of gay servicemen, House of Lords rulings on injury to feelings awards, the Supreme Court decision on whether legal representation is required in internal disciplinary proceedings and the largest ever Employment Tribunal application by 12,000 retained firefighters, which eventually went to the House of Lords.

A frequent lecturer on employment law, John has written 15 books and is a CEDR trained mediator. John was a member of the Standards Board for England and the Home Office Task Force on Human Rights. He sits out of term as a Deputy High Court Judge. Since 2005 he has been a Bencher of Middle Temple.

Tikkun Leil

It's tradition to stay up all night for the Tikkun Leil, or night of study, which parallels what the Jewish people should have been doing as they waited for Moses to finally come down the mountain with the tablets in hand. In staying up all night, it guarantees that we’ll be ready to receive Torah when the moment comes.

Another tradition is the eating of dairy products such as ice cream and cheesecake - and don't worry, we'll have plenty of both (and some vegan options)!

We will have sessions running throughout the night on the theme of Language and Words of Torah, and whether you join us for one or all of them, we look forward to learning with you!

Between each session there will be breaks with snacks, tea and coffee as well as chillout spaces and opportunities for chavrutah throughout the night.

Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

The Power of Ten Gathered: Where does the divine dwell?
with Yael Roberts

Studying a text from Midrash Eliyahu Zutah, we will look at how Israel is redeemed through the study of Torah. The text makes us question our relationship to place, and interrogate the experience of the Israelites wandering through the desert, as we seek to find the Divine wherever we are.


Dirshuni: Women’s Midrash on
Megillat Ruth

with Diana Shaw Clark

Dirshuni: Women Interpret Torah:
The “Sages” Have Had Their Say.
Now it’s Our turn to Speak. 

Two Jews, three opinions: a tour of
UK Jewish denominations

 with Joe Crossley



Late-night sing-along
with Yoav Oved

Hebrew lyrics and text can often be shrouded in mystery. Come and sing both familiar and new songs, as we explore the phonic depths of the Hebrew Alefbet.

The Language of Psalms
with Student Rabbi Kamila

We keep reading them in every service without paying them too much attention. Sometimes they might even feel boring and too long. Psalms! So let us properly look at their well-thought structures, discover some rules that unite them and find their hidden messages.

Mipnei Tikkun Haolam: the spirit of the law
with Joe Crossley

In this session led by Joe Crossley, we will look at the textual origins of 'tikkun olam' - repairing the world. We will think about how halacha (Jewish law) can react to unforeseen or difficult situations, and will see one of the very rare cases that we follow the opinion of Shammai, not Hillel. Can you divorce your spouse without them knowing about it? Can helping others get out of captivity actually make things worse?

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Fri, 2 June 2023 13 Sivan 5783