Selichot

On 3rd September 1988, under the direction of Stephen Glass, the B’nai Brith Festival Singers (forerunner to the Shabbaton Choir) together with Chazanim Steve Robins and Geoffrey Shisler conducted a Selichot service at The New West End Synagogue, St Petersburgh Place.  It was the first time in almost twenty years that a Choral Selichot service featuring two Chazanim had been held in the West End of London. The music whilst traditional had been completely rearranged by Stephen Glass and was heard that evening by a packed synagogue. 

Then in 1991, on the evening before the Installation of Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Shabbaton Choir (now under the Musical Direction of Stephen Levey), together with Chazzanim Lionel Rosenfeld and Steve Robins conducted another Choral Midnight Selichot service at the New West End Synagogue.  The Shabbaton Choir has continued this tradition for 25 years, with Lionel being joined by Chazanim Steve Robins, Robert Brody, Shimon Craimer, Steven Leas, Jonathan Murgraff and, for the past 13 years, Chazan Jonny Turgel.  The service, with its own distinctive repertoire of melodies, has become a regular fixture in the Jewish calendar with packed out synagogues both experiencing the uplifting music and joining in too.