Yom Shishi, 7 Heshvan 5775
Friday, 31 October 2014
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Prime Minster supports Liberal Judaism stance on Israel

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has written to Liberal Judaism chairman Lucian J Hudson to support our movement’s stance on Israel.

Lucian wrote to all three major UK political party leaders in September, expressing the unique role Liberal Judaism plays within the Jewish community. He also stated that the diversity of opinion within our community in regards to Israel and Gaza has perhaps not been fully reflected in the heat of battle.

Lucian’s letter continued: “Liberal Judaism has long believed in, and campaigned for, a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. Our movement maintains that no people should live under occupation and no country’s right to exist should be constantly challenged.

“Liberal Judaism promotes the idea of two narratives, one Jewish Israeli and the other Palestinian/Arab. We believe that both must be acknowledged to achieve a just and lasting resolution.

“During the recent conflict, we worked hard to ensure that any statement on behalf of the Jewish community reflected our distress at the loss of human life on both sides and the range of views in the community.”

In a reply received last week, The Prime Minister wrote: “Like you, I have been deeply saddened by the tragic loss of civilian life in the recent escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel.

“The conflict has taken a terrible toll and I am aware of the impact that this has had on the British Jewish community. I agree with you that it is important for the public to understand that a diversity of opinion exists with relation to the conflict.

“I share your support for a two-state solution, which remains the only way to resolve the conflict once and for all.”

The Prime Minister ended his letter by talking of his own personal experiences of the region and hopes that all parties engage with the Cairo-based peace talks.

To read the Prime Minister's letter, click here

 
Join Liberal Judaism's Sunday Seminar on Israel

Liberal Judaism’s next Sunday Seminar will be on the subject of Israel and boasts a trio of top speakers.

Entitled ‘When We Talk About Israel’, the event will take place on Sunday November 9 from 11am-4pm at The Montagu Centre, 21 Maple Street, London, W1T 4BE.

This Sunday Seminar will be led by Liberal Judaism’s student and young adult chaplain Rabbi Leah Jordan, with sessions led by UJIA educator Robin Moss and Yachad Youth & Student Outreach Worker Rebecca Daniels. Material from Israel charities ‘New Israel Fund’ and ‘Just Vision’ will be used.

The first session – titled ‘Israel Through Jewish Eyes’ – looks at how we as Jews think about Israel. Through text study, debate and discussion, attendees will be challenged to think Jewishly about issues such as how we handle disagreement about the Jewish State.

The second session, ‘Yachad: Coming Together’, asks how do we talk about the incredibly emotive subject of Israel in our communities without losing our heads? In this workshop, Yachad, Liberal Judaism’s partner on Israel, will talk about facilitating dialogue in Jewish communities around this heated, important topic in ways that are meaningful and encourage community building.

The final ‘Model Session’, teaches how to run an example of an Israel session in our communities, which encourages respectful dialogue and thought.

Seminars are free to members of Liberal Judaism communities. We welcome a £5 donation towards the cost of a light lunch. Booking in advance is essential. For details and bookings, contact Abigail Jacobi on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Liberal Judaism in the news

Liberal Judaism has been making the news over the last month, with features in the Jewish, national and international press.

You can view some of our favourite press cuttings below:

Liberal Judaism’s rabbis and officers are regularly featured in the Jewish News’ new Progressive Judaism section - http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/category/judaism/progressive-judaism-judaism/

Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich wrote a column for The Big Issue on supporting Syrian refugees - http://www.bigissue.com/features/soapbox/4449/liberal-judaism-and-citizens-uk-refugees-make-a-tremendous-contribution-to

The Sunday Mirror also covered the Syrian refugee campaign, which Liberal Judaism is running alongside Citizens UK and other religious groups - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/syrian-refugee-crisis-unites-jews-4335000

Stephen Fry’s donation to Rainbow Jews was picked up by Haaretz in Israel - http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.620941

The generous donation also made i24 international news - http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/europe/47482-141016-stephen-fry-helps-perpetuate-histories-of-british-lgbt-jews

Finally, the Jewish Chronicle’s Community section have run a number of stories, including on our congregations in York and Norwich - http://www.thejc.com/community

 
Rabbi Danny Rich to speak at Cutting Edge Consortium Conference

Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich will be speaking alongside Lord Michael Cashman, Tina Beardsley, Peter Tatchell and many more important guests at a major upcoming LGBT conference.

The Cutting Edge Consortium is holding its 2014 Conference on Saturday November 1 with the theme of ‘equality and religious freedom in a changing world’.

The event will take place from 10am to 5pm, with registration from 9.30am, at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL.

For more information, pricing details and to register for the conference go to www.cuttingedgeconsortium.co.uk or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

There will be two plenary sessions, one focusing on the international context of faith based homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and the other focusing on the changing nature of LGBT activism in the UK.

There will also have a panel session on the current political situation for LGBT rights in the UK and worldwide. Speakers will include prominent LGBT campaigners, trade unionists, lawyers and academics as well as politicians and representatives from faith communities. Workshop discussions will also be held on a variety of topics.

The aim of the Cutting Edge Consortium is to eliminate faith based homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and the 2014 Conference will bring together a diversity of activists campaigning for this end.

 
Midlands Shabbaton Programme Announced

It is with mounting excitement that the Liberal Judaism Midlands Shabbaton Team are able to release the programme for this important regional event, taking place on Saturday 15th November 2015.

Highlights of the programme include services and sessions run by Liberal Judaism's Midlands rabbinic team - Rabbis Margaret Jacobi, Tanya Sakhnovich & Mark Solomon, a concert and singing workshop from the dynamic duo of Cantor Gershon Silins & Dean Staker and a panel discussion on the week's parasha chaired by Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism.

To view the full programme, please click here. The event will also have a full parallel youth programme, run by our LJY-Netzer movement work team.

The cost For more information, please contact Abigail Jacobi at the Liberal Judaism office by either phone (020 7631 9829) or email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Alternatively, you can book online using a simple form at www.tinyurl.com/shabbatonmidlands.

 
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