The Jewish Police Association (JPA) welcomed over sixty people on Wednesday evening (17th November 2010) to a faith awareness event at the beautiful New West End Synagogue, St Petersburgh Place in Bayswater. Attendees included Police Officers and staff from many London Boroughs, central units and adjacent forces.

The evening comprised of four seminars about Jewish life, the Jewish home, practices related to bereavement and about the security issues which concern the community (delivered by the Community Security Trust). Rabbi Shisler, a chaplain to the JPA, began the evening with a brief tour the synagogue, a Grade I listed building considered to be of one of the most beautiful in London.

All talks were particularly geared towards promoting understanding in areas specific to the way in which Police Officers may encounter the Jewish community while at work.

Throughout the evening, it was clear that participants felt relaxed and free to engage in dialogue about the Jewish faith and culture. They were able to view Jewish ritual objects such as a spice box used in the havdalah ceremony at the end of the Sabbath, and matzohs, the unleavened bread eaten over Passover. The evening concluded with a practical opportunity to find out more about kosher food over a buffet supper.

Mat Shaer, Chair of the Jewish Police Association, said: “It was a pleasure to share information about Judaism with people of many other faiths. I hope the officers who attended are more knowledgeable as to the concerns of the Jewish community and better prepared to deal with their issues”.