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Latest Questions

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I believe my Grandfather was a Jewish orphan in London in the early 1900's He was Askenazi jewish from Russia or the Ukraine . I am trying to trace his history. Do you have any idea where to start ?, thanks in advance Stephen

Shereen Hunte

Answer written on 27th April 2020 by Shereen Hunte

Thank you for your question. We would recommend you looking on the Jewish Genealogical Society’s Website:

They have many resources which may aid your quest. Once you have more solid information, we do offer slots to view our museum collection and look into specific objects (post-quarantine, that is).

We hope this helps!


what are some of the factors that make a Jewish child an adult, other than age and spiritual maturity?

Shereen Hunte

Answer written on 27th April 2020 by Shereen Hunte

Really good question!

Spiritual maturity and age are two of the key factors in a child becoming an adult in Judaism.

In Orthodox Judaism, boys are considered spiritually mature after their Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13. In Reform Judaism, girls can also have a Coming of Age Ceremony called a Bat Mitzvah, at the age of 12. Bar/Bat Mitzvah means Son/Daughter of the Commandments and after this has taken place, it is then the person’s responsibility to try to uphold the commandments themselves – no longer should they have to solely rely on adults to follow the commandments. Once they become ‘adults’ in this religious sense, they are able to wear the tallit, lay tefillin and are encouraged to base their actions on rationale, rather than child-ish impulse.

You can find out more about the Bar/Bat Mitzvah on our website here.

Is shalom the same in Aramaic?

Answer written on 18th February 2020 by

The word shalom is not the same in Aramaic, but rather the word to mean peace in Aramaic is Shlama. Both Shalom and Shlama mean peace and these words have derivatives of them and can have a variety of meanings depending on context and use in phrases.

Shalom literally means peace, but can also be used to mean harmony, wholeness and completeness. However, Shalom is also commonly used as a greeting which can mean both “hello” and “goodbye” and can also be a common name for children, in particular boys.

In Aramaic the similar greeting of peace is Shlama which translates as peace be with you.

We are currently designing and making a Parochet with Years 4 - 6 for our Torah Ark. Do you have any Parochet or images of Parochet that we might be able to use as a resource? Shana Tova Laura

Answer written on 18th October 2019 by

Why do some Jewish people wear a kippah all the time?

Frances Jeens

Answer written on 13th November 2017 by Frances Jeens

Wearing a kippah can mean many things.  For some people, it is a way to proudly show their Jewish identity.  For others, it is a way to get themselves ready to perform a religious act such as prayer.  A kippah is a way to show respect to God by acknowledging that God is always above you. Covering one’s head is often a sign of respect in many different religions, including Judaism. Traditionally only men and boys wear a kippah, but in Reform or Liberal communities women may also choose to wear a kippah to show their respect for God.

Some Jewish people will only wear a kippah when they are doing something religious as they feel this helps them separate religious activities from secular activities. However, other Jewish people prefer to wear their kippah all the time as they believe it is important to show respect to God at all times, not only during religious activities. This choice is a personal preference depending on your family and traditions and the personal choices you make.


Is it true that Jewish parents aren't supposed to name their children after their own parents?

Frances Jeens

Answer written on 13th November 2017 by Frances Jeens

Some Jewish people do name their babies after a relative who is still alive, but many Jewish people follow the tradition of not naming a child after a living relative, particularly those relatives who are young. This means that you rarely find Jewish children named after their own parents.

Traditions and customs form an important part of Jewish life and this depends on your family beliefs and practices. When it comes to baby naming, Ashkenazi tradition is almost entirely to name the baby only after a relative who has already died, while some Sephardic traditions allow for naming the baby after an elder relative. Generally speaking however, no Jewish tradition supports naming the baby after their own living parents.


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