Yom Rishon, 26 Elul 5774
Sunday, 21 September 2014

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UK rabbis unite to challenge global poverty

The JC
April 12 2013

UK rabbis from across the community have joined together in signing a petition to alleviate global poverty and malnutrition.

A letter, recently published in the Financial Times, backing the Millennium Development Goals campaign to target extreme poverty, included signatories from the Liberal, Reform and strictly Orthodox movements.

They included Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner from the Movement for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Natan Levy from the Board of Deputies, Rabbi Danny Rich, the chief executive of Liberal Judaism; Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, the senior rabbi of the Masorti Movement and Rabbi Avraham Pinter, a leading Charedi Rabbi.

The letter was published to coincide with the start of a 1000-day countdown to achieve the MDG goals by 2015.

Kingston honours four community champions

The JC
April 1 2013

Long-time members of the two Kingston synagogues have been honoured as community champions by the local mayor in an annual award scheme.
Former Kingston Liberal Synagogue president Judy Thwaites received her award for “the impact of her initiative to set up the Kingston Holocaust Memorial Day Trust”. Together with fellow KLS member Fleur Standring, another 2013 award recipient, she established the trust in 2007 to educate local pupils about the Holocaust.
What started as a one-day event has expanded to five-and-a-half days of workshops, this year attended by more than 1,100 students and involving more than 40 volunteers from the Kingston Liberal and United synagogues.  Read more

Revealed: the inside story of the prison rabbis

The JC
March 27 2013

The extra lengths he [Rabi Michael Binstok] and his fellow chaplains go to to support genuinely Jewish inmates would be reason enough for any prisoner to try to join their congregation.

The chaplaincy is run under the auspices of the United Synagogue but is truly cross-communal — Rabbi Michael Binstock is Orthodox, Rabbi Shmuel Arkush is Lubavitch, Rabbi Cliff Cohen is Reform and Rabbi Rebecca Birk is Progressive. Each manages to achieve a remarkable level of Jewish tradition and observance among their prisoners.

Rabbi Birk has just held a Seder in Holloway women’s prison, as she does every year. “We have a shortened Haggadah and I bring in food and we do it during the day. It’s truly extraordinary doing a Seder about freedom behind the bars of a prison.”  Read more

“I’ve Never Met a Rabbi Before”

April 5 2013

Liberal Judaism’s chief executive, Rabbi Danny Rich has returned invigorated from the CSCLeaders conference in Belfast. His fellow participants came from some of the 54 countries of the commonwealth and – for many of them – he was the first rabbi they had ever met.  The CSCLeaders conference is an elite leadership programme which provides a unique platform for exceptional individuals to learn from each other and make lasting connections.

Rabbi Danny Rich said: “The CSCLeaders conference gave me the chance to meet many inspiring women and men who are dealing with issues much wider than anything I face. These included a senior army officer who was involved in negotiations with the Taliban, and a senior civil servant originally from Rwanda, who returned to her country in order to contribute towards its future. In spite of how humbling these encounters were, and the fact that many participants had never met a rabbi before, I was left feeling that Liberal Judaism does play its small part in healing the world. But we could do so much more. Leaders do from time to time require an opportunity to reflect on their own practice and consider how other leaders in different fields meet their objectives and this seminar was an excellent example of such an opportunity .”

The Commonwealth is a community of equals that spans 54 countries, six continents, and contains one third of the world’s population.



Movement Work – the future is yours

April 2 2013

What would your life look like without LJY-Netzer*?

Thanks to Graham Carpenter and Bethany Stone, future generations of young people won’t have to find out. Graham and Bethany have stepped up – and been selected – to serve as Movement Workers in 5773-4 (2013-14). The good news is that there is still a space for the right candidate to join this life-changing team. Yes, that’s right. You could be PAID to CHANGE LIVES.

How many 22-year-olds do you know that get to be director of a national charity? How many young people do you know who get to gain proven career-enhancing skills while having fun? How about getting paid to make the world a better place? What are you waiting for? Pick up that phone thingy and call Shelley on 020 7580 1663 or pick up that same phone thingy and email her on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . She’ll give you a pack that you’ll need to return before the end of April or it will be too late – NO EXCEPTIONS - and you will have no choice but to join hundreds of thousands of young graduates and become the nameless pawn of yet another multinational corporation. Only kidding. Sort of. Yep.

So who would you be working with?

Graham is a music maven and soon-to-be Music Technology graduate who hails originally from the not-very-Jewish town of Reading. Glamorous, he is. A self-confessed oldie in the eyes of the movement (he’s almost 22! ), Graham says he’s joining the team because he’s just not ready to say goodbye to all the great experiences he’s had courtesy of LJY. He’s planning to bring his unique musical vibes and expertise to the post, particularly to breathe fresh ruach (spirit) into the movement’s legendary song-leading sessions. While Graham is all about revving up the Liberal Jewish soul, Bethany the budding psychologist is all about inspiring the Liberal Jewish mind – continuing the success and sheer impact of the movement le dor vador (from generation to generation). Bethany says that movement work is about embracing the ideology of youth empowerment by training leaders and promoting informed decision making. Together, Bethany and Graham represent an exciting new recipe for LJY-Netzer, and it has never been a better time to step up to the challenge of movement work.

You are not obliged to complete the work, neither are you free to desist from it.

The future is yours to shape. Do it. Now.

*LJY-Netzer is the youth movement of Liberal Judaism and provides amazing events (including residential camps) and informal education for young people aged 8 – 23.

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