The 2013 Day of Celebration saw the launch of the LAFTAs (Liberal Academy for Film and Torah Awards), a competition where Liberal Judaism religion schools are asked to make a short film on a Jewish topic. The theme of the competition goes hand in hand with the Day of Celebration’s theme.
 
Films are to be between two and three minutes and will be judged on creativity, humour, youth participation, artistic merit and overall brilliance. Communities are sent educational packs to help the children understand the topic and explore various ideas for their films.
 
In its first year, the LAFTAs had over 100 participants from across our communities learning about our Liberal Jewish history and envisioning the future. This is a project that will continue into the future and is particularly beneficial because it connects liberal Jewish communities, regardless of geography.

The 2017 LAFTAs theme was: What would your community look like in the Messianic Age?
 
The theme expanded on the Day of Celebration title ‘Is Liberal Judaism political Judaism?’ to encourage participants to think about how they can help to create an ideal world.
 
The LAFTA trophy was awarded to Crouch End Chavurah at the 2017 Day of Celebration, where their film was shown to all 250 LJ members in attendance.
 
You can watch the winning entry here.
 
The judging panel was Liberal Judaism president Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, officer Robin Moss, officer Tamara Schmidt, LJY-Netzer movement worker Sam Alston and LJ’s Website Manager & Ebulletin Editor Yszi Hawkings.
The young people of each community were asked to submit a short film entitled ‘A day in the life of Israel’. The top entries were shown at Liberal Judaism’s Day of Celebration in June 2015.
 
The much coveted LAFTA trophy was awarded to Gloucestershire Liberal Jewish Community in a ceremony at the 2015 Day of Celebration.
 
You can watch Gloucestershire’s winning entry here.
 
GLJC’s Rabbi Anna Gerrard said: “I am enormously proud of the young people of Gloucestershire and excited that we won this year’s LAFTAs. Our Hineinu youth group came up with the concept and the whole cheder took part. A special thank you has to go to Ollie Angell, aged 12, who filmed, edited and produced the whole thing!”
 
The judging panel was Liberal Judaism vice president Sharon Goldstein, officer Robin Moss, operations director Shelley Shocolinsky-Dwyer, LJY-Netzer movement worker Tamara Silver, LAFTAs creator Sam Grant and Rabbi Alexandra Wright, senior rabbi of The Liberal Jewish Synagogue.
The young people of each community were asked to submit a short film entitled ‘The future of liberal Judaism: the next 100 years’. The top entries were shown at Liberal Judaism’s Day of Celebration in June 2013.
 
With over 100 participants from across our communities learning about our Liberal Jewish history and envisioning the future, it was exciting to see all their creations.
 
The inaugural LAFTA trophy was awarded to South Bucks Liberal Jewish Community in a ceremony at the 2013 Day of Celebration.
 
You can watch South Buck’s winning entry here.