History of TLSE

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The Liberal Synagogue Elstree

Our congregation was founded in 1969 as the Stanmore Liberal Jewish Congregation. Meeting in local halls and homes, the original nucleus of 30 families grew rapidly. With the shift of the local Jewish population services became centred on the Elstree area and in 1977 the name was changed to Hertsmere to reflect this. The congregation then acquired the present Grade II listed building, a semi-derelict former village school, which was transformed by members working evenings and weekends to create the flexible synagogue, school and community centre we have today.

Extensive building works were completed in February 1998, adding a large entrance foyer. This foyer integrates the sanctuary and halls with the religion school and offices, as well as greatly enhancing the appearance and amenities on entering the Synagogue building.

In 1993 we adopted a new Hebrew name - Ateret Tzvi, the Crown of Glory. The name captures our local connection, with Tzvi meaning hart or deer in Hebrew, which relates to the symbol of a deer used throughout Hertsmere. Our silverware, specially commissioned, bears the Hebrew name of the congregation. A mezuzzah was commissioned bearing the name 'Ateret Tzvi' and affixed to the new entrance at a rededication ceremony on the 7th February 1998.

Within the Synagogue you will see our Tree of Life where we record the "life-cycle" events of the community, as well as our Memorial Board which helps us to remember the lives of those who are no longer with us.

In 2004 the congregation voted to change its name, and from September 2004 became The Liberal Synagogue Elstree.