Yom Chamishi, 25 Tishri 5776
Thursday, 8 October 2015

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Barnet Council to resettle 50 refugees after FPS action

7th October 2015

Finchley Progressive Synagogue and Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk hosted a successful Barnet Citizens action over Sukkot, which saw Barnet Council agree to resettle 50 Syrian refugees.

As part of Liberal Judaism and Citizens UK’s Sanctuary campaign – which began last Sukkot – the event was hosted in conjunction with the Somali Bravanese Welfare Union, Vincentians in Partnership and Middlesex University Student Union.
The event resulted in the leader of Barnet Council, Richard Cornelius responding “Rabbi, the answer is yes” to Barnet signing up to the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.  More than 200 people were in attendance, including Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich and Rabbi Danny Freelander, the president of the World Union of Progressive Judaism.

fpsbarnet1015Barnet Citizens have organised five doctor’s practices, two schools, three landlords and work experience and training for the refugees.Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk said: “We know it’s not easy for a council to say yes, that’s why we needed local people to show their support, find homes and offer a warm welcome.

“There’s EU funding available to the council. Together we must act now and revive the great British tradition of helping those most in need.”

Over the past year Liberal Judaism and Citizens UK, working in partnership with Avaaz, have secured commitments from 22 councils – including Birmingham, Islington, Kingston, Malvern Hills, Newcastle and Edinburgh – to support 50 refugees each, and Glasgow has agreed to support 100 Syrians.

The campaign aims to help resettle 20,000 people nationally over the next two years. The next stop is a national action on Parliament Square on October 13, asking for 1,000 people to be resettled before Christmas.

Read more here -> http://www.citizensuk.org/barnet_council_agrees_to_resettle_50_syrian_refugees

Woodford community to hold inclusive Shabbat

7th October 2015

Woodford Liberal Synagogue will be holding an inclusive Shabbat morning service on Saturday November 28, designed to be accessible and sensitive to a variety of needs. The service is open to both members and non-members, and all ages are welcome.

Doors open at 10.30am, with the service taking place from 11am for just over an hour.

Woodford Liberal Synagogue is located in Marlborough Road, South Woodford, London, E18 1AR.

Organiser Zara Fryer said: “I am hoping as many people as possible in both the local community, and the wider Liberal Jewish community, join us to celebrate Shabbat through music, multi-sensory experiences and prayer."

If you have questions, special requirements or to RSVP, please contact Zara on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 07976 007 735.

Be part of our pioneering Twilight People team

An exhibition curator training event will take place on Wednesday October 14 from 6.30-9.15pm at The Montagu Centre, London.

The event offers an introduction to planning, organising, interpreting and presenting an exhibition. The trainer is Charlotte Kingston, a content developer for museums; who was also the lead curator and exhibition coordinator for the Rainbow Jews Exhibition in 2014.Participation in the training seminar is free. Attendees are then expected to donate a minimum of eight hours a month until February 2016 to help produce and curate the Twilight People exhibition. Reasonable travel expenses and sustenance will be paid.

To secure a place, please RSVP by Thursday October 8·by filling in the form here.

Twilight People is a landmark project that discovers and celebrates the hidden history of transgender and gender-variant people of faith in the UK past and present.

Student Rabbi’s charity haircut

Progressive Student Rabbi Hannah Kingston is set to cut off her famous flowing locks – to raise money for the fight against childhood cancer.

Hannah, a student at Leo Baeck College, will shave at least 10 inches from her hair, which she describes as her “prized possession”.

Hannah said: “On Rosh Hashanah last year, the bravest boy I know got diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma. He spent the year undergoing treatment, lost his hair and enthusiasm as a result, and came through the other side a more mature, kinder and more loving young man with a thirst for life, although ever so much more a teenager!

“In his honour, during this month of childhood cancer awareness, as he prepares for his Bar Mitzvah I have chosen to donate my hair to the Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment.”

Hannah is raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, as well as the Karen Morris Memorial Trust in support of Radlett Reform Synagogue’s High Holy Days appeal.

Hannah’s haircut will take place after Simchat Torah. She can be sponsored via·www.justgiving.com/Hannah-Kingston2/

Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich said: “We are all supporting Hannah and these amazing causes.”




Liberal synagogue becomes hub for refugee donations

Members of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue prepared for Sukkot by packing goods to be sent to refugees.

The synagogue has been serving as hub for donations from its members and the local Northwood churches for the last few weeks.

Project leader Marsha Myers and Rabbi Lea Muhlstein (pictured above with children from the community) led the sorting and packing, which included winter clothing, tents and blankets to be sent into Europe for those fleeing Syria and surrounding areas.

Lea said: “As Jews, we cannot turn our back on refugees fleeing oppression. Knowing what it means to be a stranger, to be oppressed, is part of the core of our Jewish identity.”

You can read Lea’s Yom Kippur sermon on why we must help refugees here -> http://www.npls.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Yom-Kippur-5776-LM.pdf



Project leader, Marsha Myers, Rabbi Lea Mühlstein and some of the youngest sorters and packers.


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