KEHILLAT Kadimah, which opened at South Head Synagogue’s Old South Head Road shule on Friday night, will be offering membership this week.
The new congregation, founded by Josh Bolot, has signed a six-month lease with the liquidator of South Head to use the premises for services.
Bolot started attending South Head Synagogue three years ago and told The AJN that he has been watching the saga between the board and the rabbi with dismay.
“The initial step we took was to make sure the congregation stays together and to allow people who didn’t want to stay at the South Head minyan to pray elsewhere, and that was at the Dover Minyan,” Bolot said.
“When the opportunity arose for us to take the lease at the South Head shule we then formed Kehillat Kadimah.”
That six-month lease started last Thursday afternoon and, only 24 hours later, the congregation enjoyed a big turn out for Shabbat.
“We had huge crowds on Friday night and Saturday,” Bolot said.
“It was great to have a simcha, an aufruf, back in the building and we will have more bar and bat mitzvahs in the next few months.”
The congregation will start offering memberships at the end of this week to make sure the community remains viable for the duration of the lease.
Bolot said that any former South Head Synagogue member can retain their seat in the synagogue by joining Kehillat Kadimah.
“Those who were members in the last quarter will have a priority allocation,” he said.
“We have six months to lease the premises and at the end of the period we are hopeful that we will be in a position to stay on.”
The biggest question for the congregation is the future rabbinic direction.
Rabbi Benzion Milecki, who was the South Head Synagogue rabbi until it was placed into liquidation, is overseas at the moment and Bolot said that when he returns, his services will not be required.
“We are satisfied with our rabbinic needs at the moment,” Bolot said.
“We have our positions covered for weekly services and yom tov.
“We are upholding the Orthodox standards of the community we represent, and there is no wavering of that position.”