Ya’ar is an independent cross-communal organisation focused on making life even better for the Jewish residents of Bricket Wood and surrounding areas. We do this by signposting to events, activities and initiatives offered by our committee and our partner organisations, which may be of interest and importance to local Jewish people. We are inclusive, diverse and open to all ages and affiliations, welcoming anyone who wants to be part of our unique, vibrant and burgeoning community.

Ya’ar offers:

An independent cross-communal hub for the Jewish community of Bricket Wood and surrounding areas

Signposting and promotion of local events, activities and religious services to suit all ages and interests

A chance to meet your neighbours and make new friends

Meet-ups and activities, both independently and in collaboration with our partner organisations

An opportunity for anybody to join our committee, have a voice and shape our local community – or just to dip into any of the events and activities available

No membership or joining fees

Find out about Jewish life in the area

From pub nights to family picnics, we're signposting a wide range of events and activities in our weekly 'Signpost' email.

About Ya’ar

‘Ya’ar’ is the Hebrew word for forest / woodlands and here in Bricket Wood we are nurturing the existing roots of a warm, friendly and diverse community that will continue to grow taller and stronger as more Jewish people move into the area. Ya’ar is not a shul, religious, events or membership organisation – think of it more as a communal hub, signposting to various local activities and services offered by our own committee or partner organisations.

Ya’ar is a unique collaboration between local Jewish residents and organisations who are committed to bringing Jewish people together to make friends and connections and to build a Jewish community for all. Ya’ar is inclusive, diverse and open to all ages and affiliations, welcoming anyone who wants to be part of a unique, vibrant and burgeoning group of Jewish families and individuals living in and around Bricket Wood and surrounding areas including Park Street, How Wood and Chiswell Green. All ages are welcome, no matter how religious or secular they may be.

Ya’ar isn’t part of the United Synagogue or Chabad, although both are currently represented and fully support this initiative. It is also hoped that Masorti and Reform synagogues will soon be involved as well.

Ya'ar partner logos

Frequently asked questions

    1. Ya’ar is a cross-communal organisation focused on bringing relevant information, activities and opportunities to the Jewish residents of Bricket Wood and its surrounding areas.
    2. Ya’ar wants to make life even better for all Jews in the area, by increasing awareness of events, activities and initiatives which are of interest and importance to Jewish lives.
    3. Ya’ar will collaborate with, and promote, all of these in order to strengthen and build a diverse, all-inclusive Jewish community that caters for the needs of everyone now and into the future.
    1. In a small locale such as Bricket Wood and the surrounding areas, information about events and activities from differing sources may not be easy to find. Ya’ar aims to make Jewish life simpler by providing a platform for all organisations to spread the word about their own events in one central place (safely and securely).
    2. Ya’ar will allow Jewish people to access curated information about aspects of Jewish life which might be important to them on a local level; irrespective of gender, race, age, sexuality, disability or level of religious observance.
    3. For people moving to the area, Ya’ar will be an easy to access resource for information about local Jewish provisions in the area.
  1. Ya’ar is aimed at anyone who considers themselves Jewish and who has an interest in local Jewish life.
  2. Ya’ar welcomes all Jewish people of any age, any religious affiliation and is open to  individuals, families, singles, newly weds, kids, grown-ups and dogs (well we are located in and around Bricket Wood after all).
  3. In time we hope to be able to offer something for everyone, whether through our own sub-committees or in conjunction with our partner organisations.
  1. Ya’ar is an independent organisation that was set up and is run by local Jewish residents living in and around Bricket Wood.
  2. A committee is in place to ensure structure, growth and relevance, but anyone is welcome to join this group if they feel they have something to add.
  3. The Rabbis of Chabad of Bricket Wood and St Albans United Synagogue sit on the committee in order to share their insight, experience and guidance (and to represent their own communities), however they do not ‘run’ Ya’ar and Ya’ar is not a religious organisation. Representatives of other Jewish affiliations are also welcome on the steering committee and we are presently speaking with Masorti and Reform synagogues in the hope that they will soon be involved too.
  1. No there aren’t any membership fees as we are not a membership organisation of any kind. Registering to join our mailing list and receiving email updates about Jewish life in and around Bricket Wood is completely free of charge.
  2. Some events may carry a small charge to attend but this will be made clear in advance and no-one will be excluded if they do not have the means to pay.
    1. No, Ya’ar is not a synagogue or shul, nor does it ever intend to be.
    2. Ya’ar will however signpost to any religious organisations from all strands and flavours of Judaism which wish to offer spiritual and religious facilities to the Jews of the local area.
    3. Currently, the rabbis of St. Albans United Synagogue and Chabad Lubavitch of Bricket Wood sit on the Ya’ar committee, however Ya’ar is absolutely independent and does not represent any specific religious views. As well as orthodox Judaism, Ya’ar is happy to signpost to any affiliation and is presently speaking with local Masorti and Reform synagogues.
    1. No, Ya’ar itself will not be offering religious services as it is not a shul or ever intending to be.
    2. Synagogues affiliated with Ya’ar may choose to offer their own formal or informal religious services, as they might do in any other Jewish area, and Ya’ar will do its best to share information about what is available to those people who wish to know about them.
    3. Individuals in the area may also wish to offer informal services of their own under whichever brand of Judaism to which they subscribe; Ya’ar will be happy to signpost this information in the same way.
    1. Absolutely, all Jews of any affiliation are welcome, whether they belong to a shul or not, whether they are well-versed in Judaism, are exploring for the first time or think of themselves as Jewish by association only.
    1. No, Ya’ar is not an events, social or membership organisation.
    2. Ya’ar may occasionally organise its own independent events or arrange casual meet-ups in a pub – all in order to bring local Jews together to meet each other and make friends and connections – but Ya’ar is fundamentally not a social or events organisation.
    3. We are happy to partner with and/or promote other social groups and organisations who are running activities and events of their own that may be of interest to those who have signed up to receive the Ya’ar newsletter and updates.
  1. Ya’ar has been formed to provide signposting and promotion of local events and activities to suit all ages and interests, as more Jewish people come in to the area. Ya’ar has no intention to be a rival to any of the fantastic existing groups or religious offerings that already operate locally. In fact quite the opposite, as Ya’ar will collaborate with, and promote, all of these in order to strengthen and build a diverse, all-inclusive Jewish community that caters for the needs of everyone now and into the future.
    1. Ya’ar can be seen as a loud-hailer for all Jewish organisations, whether they wish to reach people who are:
      i. religious or secular;
      ii. Orthodox, Masorti, Reform, Liberal or any other flavour of modern Anglo-Jewry;
      iii. motivated by social, educational, sports or cultural activities;
      iv. young, old, families, couples or singles.
    2. Any organisation wishing to enhance Jewish life in Bricket Wood and the surrounding areas would be welcome to shout about their activities through our communications channels. Use the enquiry form below to get in touch with us to discuss this further or tell us about your activities.
    3. The success of Ya’ar and the benefit to those who have registered to be part of Ya’ar, is very much driven by the success of the organisations we spotlight and signpost to… and the more the merrier.
    1. Any Jewish person is welcome to join our mailing list and find out more about what we have planned and what is going on within our community. Register here.
    2. We are always looking for more people to help ensure that Ya’ar strives to make Jewish life in Bricket Wood and surrounding areas even better. If you are interested in joining the Ya’ar committee or have any ideas and suggestions, please let us know using the enquiry form below.
    3. One of our key aims is to establish a ‘welcome programme’ and warm embrace for any new Jewish residents who move to the area. If you would be interested in being involved with our welcoming team, let us know.
    4. If you would be keen to liaise with particular Jewish organisations to ensure Ya’ar is signposting all the opportunities for an inspired Jewish life or perhaps would like to get involved with an occasional event being run with or by one of the organisations affiliated with Ya’ar, we would be delighted to hear from you.
    5. Get in touch with us regarding any of this by using our enquiry form below.
  1. Ya’ar is organising a ‘Picnic & Schmooze’ social event (subject to government guidelines). To find out more about this event you will need to register to join our mailing list.
  2. Some religious services and other social activities are already being offered by our partner organisations. The best way to find out about these is to join our mailing list.
  3. Register to find out more from here.

Please join our mailing list to be amongst the first to hear about Jewish life in Bricket Wood and to be informed about relevant upcoming events and activities in our local community

Or if you’d just like to find out more, please get in touch: