Yom Sheini, 10 Nisan 5775
Monday, 30 March 2015

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Yvette Cooper supports LJ campaign

Yvette Cooper MP, the shadow Home Secretary, is the latest prominent politician to back a Liberal Judaism campaign.

Following support for previous campaigns from politicians of all parties - including Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg - Ms Cooper and the Labour party have backed an LJ and Citizens UK campaign to end the indefinite detention of refugees.

Read more at the links below:



Join us on Thursday to make a stand for refugees

23rd March 2015

Members of Liberal Judaism are invited to take part in the Citizens UK Spring Sanctuary Assembly, this Thursday evening in Birmingham.

Taking place from 7-9pm at the University of Birmingham, the event is a key part of the campaign to make sure 1,500 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees are able to be resettled in the UK this year.

The event is our best chance to put pressure on those with power to do the right thing for refugees from places like Syria.

Speakers include Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP, Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich, the leaders of Birmingham City and Kingston Borough Councils and representatives from the United Nations and Christian and Muslim faiths.

For those based in London, there is a free coach leaving Whitechapel at 2:30pm.

Amelia Viney, Liberal Judaism’s trustee for social justice, said : “This Thursday evening, I will be making the journey to Birmingham to show my support as a Liberal Jew for this important cause.

“Like most of you, I work full time and my pockets aren't bursting with extra cash. But I will be raising my voice with hundreds of my friends and neighbours, to make a stand for the some of the world's most vulnerable people.

“My grandparents were refugees - they left Hungary and Slovakia for America and the dream of safety, equality and opportunity. I know that now I must be the voice of today's refugees, who deserve the same. For it is not my duty to complete the task, but neither am I free to desist from it.

“Will you join me?”

Liberal Judaism has played a key role in the campaign, calling on local authorities to resettle 50 Syrian refugees each, under the government's Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. We have already seen successful actions in Kingston, Redbridge, Birmingham and Brixton - all with Liberal Jewish communities at the forefront.

For more details on the Citizens UK Spring Sanctuary Assembly and how you can take part, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Liberal and Reform movements team up for unique Europe Tour

23rd March 2015

Liberal Judaism’s youth movement LJY-Netzer is launching a new 10-day tour of Europe that is truly one its kind.

Combining with Reform Judaism’s youth movement RSY-Netzer, a brand new route will see those in school year 12 visiting the former Yugoslavia for the first time, as well as Austria.

The Kayitz Netzer Tour takes place from Sunday August 16 – Wednesday August 26 and will see students discover the culture and heritage of cities including Sarajevo, Split, Dubrovnik and Vienna.

LJY-Netzer’s Tom Francies said: “Although our previous route of Prague, Budapest and Berlin was unique when Kayitz Netzer began, it is now very well serviced by lots of Jewish youth organisations.

“We wanted to give our members something truly unique this year and so we put this tour together with Jeremy Leigh of Jewish Journeys, who is an expert in European Jewry.

“All those coming on Kayitz Netzer will get the chance to travel around Europe, explore amazing sites, discover unique Jewish history, take part in social action and have lots of fun with old and new friends.

“This truly is the trip of a lifetime!”

For more information, email Tom on  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

"Liberal Judaism must continue to have a relationship with Israel’

Read below as Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Chair of Liberal Judaism’s Rabbinic Conference, discusses a week of change in Israeli Society and how it impacts Liberal Judaism's relationship with Israel:

It is Friday afternoon and I am sitting in Haifa with the sun shining as my family begins preparation for Shabbat with an afternoon sleep. All is quiet and soon the sun will set on what has been an eventful week in Israeli political history. Much comment has been made in the press and on social media about the consequences of the Israeli elections and everywhere you turn people are talking about it. While there is no question of its significance for the Israeli people, we cannot ignore the possible impact on Diaspora Jewry.

I have spent the week with Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich and Ilan Baron, of Durham University, meeting people and having conversations about the future engagements of Liberal Judaism with Israel.

We have met a wide range of people – journalists from Ha’Aretz, academics from across the spectrum of Israeli society, our LJY-Netzer Shnatties, representatives from Bicom, Kumu, IMPJ and the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

It has been an incredible trip and has, as is often the case, left us with as many questions as answers. A few things however are certain.

The first is that Liberal Judaism must continue to have a relationship with Israel. While the election results may have left many in the UK and Israel disillusioned and despairing, the voice of Progressive Judaism is needed more than ever. There are many people here who need the recognition and support that they do not speak with the same voice as the government. It is a time for re-engagement for the sake of both our communities. We have the potential to develop a new model of relationship based in mutuality and learning, dialogue and debate that is constructive and enriching.

The second is that we need to develop a language that couches our Zionism in the heart of our religious dialogue. For too long we have allowed religious Zionism to remain the realm of people whose religious values do not mirror our own. We need a confident articulation of our belief in the right for a Jewish state to exist while acknowledging that others too have the same right to freedom. We too have religious ideals and ethics that can be used to describe this relationship.

Lastly, engagement is key. Without knowledge and face to face encounter with the other there can be no relationship. We must develop programmes and experiences that not only allow our communities to be in Israel, but also create opportunities for Israelis to experience the richness and pluralism of Diaspora Liberal Jewish life.

Sunday June 7 and the Liberal Judaism Day of Celebration is an incredible way to discuss these issues and more, to challenge your assumptions and learn more. It is also a chance for some of these face to face encounters. Israel is a land of multiple narratives, of many voices and experiences. Liberal Judaism has always embraced its ability to maintain an ideological and religious path while containing within it a diversity that is little seen elsewhere. Come and be part of beginning to create a new Diaspora/Israel relationship that has at its heart a Liberal Jewish ethic.

Find out more about the Day of Celebration and book your tickets by visiting http://tinyurl.com/LJDOC2015

Your chance to visit Israel for FREE

Progressive Jews have the chance to visit Israel for FREE as part of UJIA Birthright in partnership with Liberal Judaism and Reform Judaism.

lj_birthrightThe Birthright trip is open to any Progressive Jew aged 20-26, who has not already been on an organised educational visit to Israel. It will take place from August 15-25.

It will include the chance to explore ancient sites and modern cities, encounter Israel’s diverse population and experience Israeli Progressive Judaism.

Liberal Judaism’s Student and Young Adult Chaplain Rabbi Leah Jordan said: “Participants will be able see and consider Israel through Progressive eyes - so the trip will include experiences and visits that you just wouldn't find on any other Birthright trip, as well as taking a fresh look at all the things you'd expect on an Israel tour.

“A Progressive Birthright trip is also going to enable us to be a community together - praying Progressively, engaging with Judaism and learning with one another.”

Rabbi Benji Stanley, Young Adult Development Rabbi for Reform Judaism, added: “We are delighted to be doing a UJIA Birthright trip in partnership with Liberal Judaism for the first time.

“This is a great chance for a group of young adults to come on an inspiring trip to Israel for free and to connect to their Jewish identity, and explore the exciting work of the Progressive and secular movements in Israel.”

Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it today for more details on how to start a journey that you will never forget.

This trip is a gift from Taglit-Birthright Israel.

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