Wikipedia`s definition is as follows” a warden also known as Gabbai , also known as Shamas is similar to a churchwarden, a beadle or sexton a person who assists in the running of the Synagogue services in some way. The role may be undertaken on a voluntary or paid basis”
I would say that the wiki definition sums it up quite nicely , however I should point out that Loughton shuls 2 wardens are alas not paid and the similarity to a church warden i.e somebody akin to Mr Hodges from those old enought to remember Dads Army is nowhere near the mark! We work closely with our Rabbi in ensuring our Synagogue services run smoothly. We are responsible for allocating the Aliyahs (call ups to the weekly reading of the Torah) Pesichas ((opening of the Ark) and the reading of the Haftorah.We are in regular contact with our members to ensure we have a minyan for our extra services i.e our Sunday morning shacharis morning service followed by the best kosher breakfast in Loughton ! on the 2nd Sunday every month .
As wardens of the synagogue we are part of a team which include our “meters and greeters “to ensure that all visitors to our Synagogue for services receive a friendly and positive experience from their Synagogue visit which we hope will encourage you to visit us again.
In conclusion We are always happy to receive feedback positive and negative with suggestions of how we can improve, so please get in touch..