23 June 2017
Liberal Judaism launched a brand new fundraising project at last night’s Patrons’ Dinner in the House of Lords.
Our movement is looking for new supporters to truly make Liberal Judaism the home for your Jewish story.
In order to fulfil our responsibilities and bring Judaism to those people and places others cannot reach, we need to be confident, well organised and well resourced.
The new Patrons scheme will help achieve this, with four levels of commitment available – Young Patron (a donation of £1,000 per annum), Bronze Patron (£4,000), Silver Patron (£10,000) and Gold Patron (£20,000).
One-off donations are also encouraged to fund specific projects such as providing a small community with prayer brooks, enabling young members to attend LJY-Netzer events such as Israel Tour and employing a part-time northern development worker to build on the recent rapid growth of our communities in that area.
All Patrons will receive VIP invitations to Liberal Judaism and community events, including two complimentary Biennial Weekend tickets, regular personal updates, a chance to discuss strategic development with the Board of National Officers and invites to the annual Patrons’ Dinner.
This year’s dinner saw 120 people – including Liberal Judaism Patrons, rabbis, officers, youth workers, staff and members – enjoy an evening of entertaining and moving speeches at the House of Lords.
Keynote speaker David Harsent, an award-winning poet, had everyone laughing, while Nicola Nathan – our movement’s new chair of Patrons – inspired with the story of her own personal journey to Liberal Judaism.
Rabbi Danny Rich, the senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism, concluded the evening with a powerful speech on the consistency of Liberal Judaism’s beliefs over the 115 years of its history and achievements in more recent times.
He said: “What all of our activities have in common is our shared purpose: to create a Judaism based on compassion not legalism; on welcoming not closing doors; on going to the Jews not forcing them to move to us; on helping Jews create vibrant and inspiring worship, study and social events.
“And we do it not only for ourselves, not only for those Jews who have yet to discover the vitality and beauty of Liberal Judaism. We do it because it fulfils the Jewish mission to create a better world and, because, in today’s world if we do not do it, who will? British society and our world needs the voices and values of Liberal Judaism to join with others of all faiths and none to change the discourse and trajectory of our world.
“I want to thank you for being here and ask you to consider how you can help us achieve these objectives. Perhaps you can become a Patron and make a regular donation; perhaps you can afford a more modest contribution.
“Whatever you can do I promise you this: it will contribute to the advancement of Liberal Judaism and give those who have yet to find it the opportunity to discover a Judaism fit for the challenges of the 21st century… that is Liberal Judaism.
“As you perhaps found a home in Liberal Judaism help us to help others to find a Jewish home too!”
The Patrons’ Dinner was opened by Liberal Judaism chair Simon Benscher, with HaMotzi led by Liberal Judaism president Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein and Birkat HaMazon led by Rabbi Rebecca Birk and LJY-Netzer movement worker Hannah Stephenson.
Others in attendance included Liberal Judaism’s co-chair of Rabbinic Conference Rabbi Richard Jacobi and director of strategy and partnerships Rabbi Charley Baginsky, as well as Board of Deputies chief executive Gillian Merron, Reform Judaism chair Geoffrey Marx, Leo Baeck College’s head of fundraising Marc Green, and Robert Weiner, chair of the Alliance for Progressive Judaism.
The evening was hosted by The Right Honourable Lord Haskel and organised by Joan Shopper, with the support of the Liberal Judaism staff team.
Rabbi Charley Baginsky added: “I would like to personally thank our existing Patrons, who have done so much to help our movement. We hope this new scheme will now see more people join their ranks.
“The wonder for me of Liberal Judaism is that we are movement in the truest sense of the word. We understand that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
“We are fundraising now from a shared belief that just as we found a home for our Jewish story we have a responsibility to pay that forward.”
To become a Patron or make a donation to Liberal Judaism please visit our BT MyDonate page.
For a private conversation about supporting Liberal Judaism, please contact Charley on 020 7631 9824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Photo: LJY-Netzer members past and present]
[Photo credit: Yakir Zur]
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