A TRAINEE rabbi is calling on Jews in Worcester to help him set up a worship group in the city.

Paul Meshulem leads a group called Chavurat Emek vaYa-ar, which is Hebrew for "the fellowship of the valley and the forest".

"We call it that because we meet each week in Herefordshire at Ross-on-Wye and people travel from all over the Wye valley and the Forest of Dean," said Mr Meshulem, who heads the group with his wife, Carey.

"But some people also come from Worcester and beyond. Occasionally, one family comes from Birmingham.

"I'd like to hear from Jews in Worcester to see how much support there would be for a Friday evening Sabbath service there.

"Looking through the Worcester telephone book, I notice there are lots of Jewish names, so I'm sure it would prove successful." Mr Meshulem is a psychologist who is studying part-time to become a rabbi.

He has been training for three years and believes it will take another seven years before he makes the grade. He described Chavurat Emek vaYa-ar as a "renewal" movement for Jews.

"We are observant, but not quite Orthodox," he said.

"We're quite liberal in that we allow women to lead services and so on, but liberal Jews have stopped observing some of the Jewish regulations, whereas we study the Torah and the men wear the kippah on their heads."

He wants anyone interested in joining the organisation to call him on 01989 720893 or to e-mail chavurat@meshulem.com. Details on the group and the Network of Renewal Jewish Communities can be found on www.meshulem.com/chavurat/