Yom Sheini, 2 Kislev 5775
Monday, 24 November 2014

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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/

Why we are signing on the Green Line

19th January 2014

Liberal Judaism, and its youth movement, LJY-Netzer, are proud to be supporting the Sign on the Green Line campaign, which has  been set up by 16 young people from across the community.

The campaign asks organisations and individuals in the Jewish community to commit to only using maps of Israel which show the 1949 armistice lines, also known as the Green Line, or the 1967 borders. We do this because we are committed to a just peace for both peoples, and a two state solution.

LJY-Netzer movement worker, Graham Carpenter, says: “At LJY-Netzer we recently voted our  theme of the year for 2014 to be ‘Ani V’atah Neshaneh Et Ha’olam’ – ‘You and I shall change the world’. This enables us to engage with big political issues facing us as British, Liberal Zionist, Liberal Jews, and focus on our ability to enact social change. That is why we joined the Sign on the Green Line campaign, and pledged to only use maps of Israel with the correct state lines, as getting everyone to work from the same map then enables us to further the conversation on our future vision for Israel.”

To learn more about Sign on the Green Line campaign, please visit http://signonthegreenline.org/

Trove of Jewish LGBT history goes on display in U.K.

February 12th 2014

On a sodden evening last week, veteran gay activist Peter Tatchell stepped up to a podium at the London School of Economics and described how in the 1980s he battled to allow pink-triangle memorial wreaths to be laid at the Cenotaph war memorial in London’s Whitehall.

Campaigning alongside him was a lesbian who had escaped Nazi rule, coming to England in the Kindertransport, he said. Her parents perished and her uncle, who was gay as well as Jewish, was rounded up early on and died in Sachenhausen concentration camp.

“The Jewish and LGBT communities have many shared experiences. Different but shared,” Tatchell noted. “And of course in Jewish LGBT people, the two experiences are combined. The legacy – the history of struggle against persecution and injustice – is one that both our communities have endured, and still endure.”

He was speaking at the launch of Rainbow Jews, the United Kingdom’s first archive of Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and despite torrential rainstorms and a Tube strike, the auditorium was packed to capacity. Read more

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