Yom Chamishi, 6 Heshvan 5775
Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Jewish Brides Make British Gay Marriage History

March 27th 2014

Tania Ward and Nicola Pettit will make history this Saturday when they become one of the first same-sex couples to legally marry in Britain.

More than that, their marriage will be among the first to receive a Jewish blessing, as Liberal and Reform streams prepare for a flurry of simchas to follow the change of law.

Since 2005, the United Kingdom has allowed civil partnerships which give the same rights and responsibilities as traditional marriage.

Campaigners, however, continued to lobby for full equality, facing opposition from conservative politicians and religious communities despite broad public backing. The new law comes into effect on Saturday March 29.

The couple, who live in southern England’s seaside Brighton resort, one of the country’s most bohemian centers of LGBT life, met when a mutual friend set them up on a blind date six-and-a-half years ago. “And that was that, really,” says 27-year-old Nicola.

Although Tania is not Jewish, the couple observe the High Holy Days and belong to the upscale Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London’s St. John’s Wood, a favorite among British Jewish celebrities. Read more.

Same-sex couple among first to wed

March 27 2014
The JC

A Jewish woman from Brighton and her non-Jewish partner will be among the first same-sex couples in the country to get married when the new law comes into force on Saturday.

Nicola Pettit will marry Tania Ward on Saturday morning at a ceremony in Brighton Town Hall, followed by a traditional Jewish blessing in the evening, led by Rabbi Janet Darley of South London Liberal Synagogue.

“It was really important for me to have a rabbi and other Jewish elements present,” Ms Pettit said. “It also means a lot for my mum and the rest of my family, who all attend the Liberal Jewish Synagogue together.”

The 29-year-old childcare worker said she was grateful she was able to follow her religion and still be
recognised in a same-sex marriage.  Read more

Mazel Tov to the first ever same sex couples marrying this weekend

Liberal Judaism is delighted that this weekend (Saturday 29th March) will see the first ever same sex weddings in England and Wales. We have fought long and hard for our rabbis to have the right to officiate over all weddings, irrespective of the couple’s gender, and for the right of all of our members to marry equally under British and Liberal Jewish law.

In 2005 we became the first religious movement in the country to publish official liturgy for blessing same sex commitment ceremonies. As of this weekend, Jewish same sex couples can celebrate their love and commitment to each other in one beautiful marriage ceremony – Jewish and legal.

If you are a Jewish same-sex couple and would like to get married under our auspices, please contact our Outreach Director, Rabbi Anna Gerrard, on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We Pay a Living Wage – Will You? (Film)

Liberal Judaism is celebrating having become the first UK synagogal movement to achieve Living Wage accreditation. We are now in the process of encouraging our individual constituent communities, and South London Liberal Synagogue has become the first to follow suit.lw_logo_employer_rgb

The Living Wage campaign is spearheaded by Citizens UK, with whom we have been working closely for several months, via our Communities Youth Coordinator, Sam Grant. Sam said: “Liberal Judaism’s support for the Living Wage campaign results from a combination of our historical commitment to justice, and our focus on the immediate social needs of the present. We invite all of our communities in joining us to stand up for justice, to pay a Living Wage.”

To celebrate our accreditation, we got together with Citizens UK to produce this short film, explaining why the Living Wage matters, and why you should adopt it.

The Living Wage Campaign calls for every worker in the country to earn enough to provide their family with the essentials of life. In London the current rate is £8.80 per hour. Outside of London the current rate is £7.65 per hour.

If you don't, who will?

As we move towards Shabbat Shekalim, when we read the portion from Shemot about how the community needs to contribute towards the upkeep of the Mishkan, it is time to think about how we maintain the vibrancy of our own community. This year, Liberal Judaism is supporting Jewish Legacy, a cross communal initiative made up of 46 of the leading Jewish charities, which has been set up to help make members of the Jewish community aware that leaving a gift in their Will is vitally important. Leaving a legacy is a powerful way to make sure that our community is still going strong for future generations.

You can contribute towards the future health of Liberal Judaism, or indeed any other charity, by making or amending your will with the aid of a solicitor.  To find out more about Jewish Legacy, please visit: http://www.jewishlegacy.org.uk/

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