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29 June - 1 July 2018


St Johns Hotel, Solihull



The theme for the 2018 Liberal Judaism Biennial Weekend is ‘Liberal Judaism: The Formula for Truly Progressive Judaism’ and it will seek to explore what makes our movement what it is today.

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships, explained: “We will be looking at our people, our programme, our liturgy and our ideology through a series of workshops, seminars, debates and keynote speeches.

“In our true Biennial style, there will be dynamic and inspirational services, a chance to study and learn with your favourite rabbis, exciting evening entertainment and, of course, lots of delicious food.”

Liberal Judaism is also offering every community a subsidised place to send one new member. That person will get to enjoy the whole of the Biennial, as well taking part in a special programme about engagement that will help us learn and discuss how to expand our membership.

Charley added: “Every two years, as we hold our flagship Biennial Weekend, we see a growth in both numbers and engagement. This year we are making a real effort not only to welcome back many friendly faces, but encourage new people from across out communities to attend.”

We know that variety is the spice of life, so we are offering a choice of 40 sessions at the Biennial Weekend – led by Liberal Judaism’s rabbis, student rabbis, officers, staff and VIP guests. With tracks on everything from liturgy, theology and ‘radical rabbis’ to Israel, creativity and social action, your biggest problem will be having to decided what notto go to.

As well as our session presents, we are excited to offer two keynote speakers for the price of one – Rabbi Danny Freelander and Gillian Merron.

Rabbi Danny Freelander, President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Danny will pick up on the task he set at the recent WUPJ Conference, challenging us to continue evolving our global Judaism so it is truly liberal in all areas, from inclusivity to theology.
Click here to read an except from the speech Rabbi Freelander made at the WUPJ Conference in May 2017.

Gillian Merron, the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Gillian, a member of Lincolnshire (Liberal) Jewish Community, will be tackling contemporary issues facing Jews in Britain, including the disturbing rise in antisemitism and the recent #EnoughIsEnough campaign.

Other highlights include:

  • Taking part in a Shabbat morning service with hundreds of other Liberal Jews, taken from the draft pages of this new prayer book
  • Biennial’s first ever track entirely dedicated to technology with sessions including ‘making hashtags count’, ‘Skyping the rabbi’ and ‘from the lightbulb to the launch’
  • The inaugural Biennial Book Club will be discussing Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table
  • Barbara Winton will speak about how we can build on her father’s legacy at Liberal Judaism’s Biennial Weekend, via a live Skype link from Athens where she will be visiting a refugee camp.
  • A special programme for teenagers will also see them attend relevant parts of the main conference, with bespoke discussions afterwards
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    A fully staffed crèche will be provided for children under six, while our youth movement LJY-Netzer will run a parallel programme for those between 6 and 15 years old featuring classic sessions and games, as well as presenters from the main Biennial.

    Click attending on our Facebook event and then email t.rich@liberaljudaism.org to receive a discount code that will get you £20 off all adult tickets!