The beginnings of a ‘Jewish Reformation’ were made in Germany between 1810 and 1818. In America, the first Reform Synagogue was started in South Carolina in 1824.
The first Progressive Jewish congregation in the UK was the West London (Reform) Synagogue for British Jews, dedicated in 1842.
Liberal Judaism in Britain was established in 1902, with its first congregation founded in 1911 at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue.
The joint editors of the Jewish Quarterly Review – Claude Montefiore and Israel Abrahams – each played a large part in the work, as did a number of other leaders of the Jewish community at the time.
Mattuck, a dynamic speaker who could converse with people of all walks of life, became a key figure in the development and success of Liberal Judaism.
Within a decade two more Liberal communities had been set up in London – West Central Liberal Jewish Congregation in 1928, and South London Liberal Synagogue in 1929.
The first Liberal community outside of London was the Liverpool Liberal Jewish Congregation, where an initial service was held in December 1928. Birmingham Liberal Jewish Synagogue (1934) and Brighton & Hove Liberal Synagogue (1936) followed.
In 2002, on its 100th anniversary, the movement became known simply as Liberal Judaism.
It can be bought from the Liberal Judaism shop.
Special thanks to Lawrence Rigal and Rosita Rosenberg for researching and gathering Liberal Judaism’s history