Yom Shlishi, 2 Av 5774
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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LJY-Netzer Interfaith Tour of Morocco with Salaam Shalom


LJY-Netzer, the youth movement of Liberal Judaism, co-led an interfaith tour of Morocco last month with the Bristol organisation, Salaam Shalom. The trip came about because of a grassroots desire to combat negative attitudes and beliefs that segregate people and create barriers to community cohesion. 25 Jewish and Muslim young people took part.

The eight-day tour took in key historical sites as well as visiting interfaith projects. As a result of the tour, Salaam Shalom is producing an educational resource pack which will be taken into schools as a way of educating against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

Sam Cohen, LJY-Netzer movement worker, said; ‘Young people need to be provided with the opportunity for open and frank conversations around race and faith. Britain is a diverse country, but too often communities live parallels lives – this tour showed that differences are not a negative – but instead should be celebrated.’

Shabana Kausar, manager of Salaam Shalom, said: ‘This was a fantastic opportunity for young people from perceived conflicting communities to come together to challenge the negative attitudes that either they, or those around them, may hold. The role young people play in challenging misconceptions and stereotypes of the ‘other,’ is a powerful one. Young people need to be presented with safe spaces to address these issues; this tour enabled the group to learn new skills that they were then able to bring back to Bristol and London.’

You can see photos from the trip on Salaam Shalom’s Facebook page.

Liberal Judaism looks forward to hosting same-sex marriages under new law

17th July 2013

Liberal Judaism, which – along with the Quakers and the Unitarian Church - has led the Parliamentary battle for same-sex marriage rights, has welcomed the Equal Marriage bill’s final passage through the Lords and Commons this week.

The bill – which was approved by MPs yesterday - is now certain to become law, probably by the end of the week, when it is approved by the Queen.

Commenting ahead of the bill becoming law, Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism – which speaks on behalf of around forty synagogues across the UK – said:

“MPs and Peers are to be congratulated for putting equality before prejudice and recognising that the whole of society benefits when we value stable, loving relationships.

“The real risk, were this legislation to have failed, was that religious institutions and rituals would have been terminally associated with upholding out-dated models of society making faith less and less relevant to modern lives.

This week’s decision has ensured that this will not be the case, and Liberal Jewish synagogues look forward to hosting our first full same-sex marriage under the law, in due course,” Rabbi Rich concluded.

Synagogues hold 'Shul of Rock'

11th July 2013

FOUR synagogues joined together to take part in a rock concert.

Middlesex New Synagogue in Bessborough Road, Harrow, hosted the Friday Night ‘Shul of Rock’, where traditional sabbath songs such as Dodi Li and Ma Tovu, were performed to a variety of rock tunes in a bid to get more young people involved in the Jewish community.

Frank Dabba Smith, of Harrow and Wembley Progressive Synagogue, also in Bessborough Road, led the service and said it was an ‘unqualified success’.

The other synagogues which took part in the event on Friday, June 28, were Hatch End Masorti Synagogue, in Grimsdyke Road, Pinner, and Kol Chai Synagogue in Uxbridge Road, Hatch End.

Project manager of the service, Mark Philips, said: “This was just great fun. I’m sure the rock service was not everyone’s cup of tea, but its great to see the community innovating and when I look at the programme for the months ahead, there will be something for everyone.” Read more

Rabbi raises over £1000 for World Jewish Relief in epic bike ride

4th July 2013

AN ALL-ACTION rabbi has raised more than £1,000 for World Jewish Relief through a mammoth bike ride.

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Rabbi of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, Green Lane, Northwood, set off to Birmingham for the Liberal Judaism Day of Celebration on his bicycle on June 15 in a 102-mile ride.

Stopping off overnight at Warwickshire, he arrived after eight hours of cycling in time for the Liberal Judaism Day of Celebration.

He said: “It was absolutely cracking. We managed to raise over £1,000, which is magnificent, but I also wanted to raise awareness to get people cycling as much as possible. It is always nice to have a challenge and while my backside hurt a lot afterwards it is really important to enjoy life and through that enjoyment to also help others who are in need.” Read more

Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein Elected President

10th July 2013

Last night at Liberal Judaism’s council meeting and AGM, Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein was elected as president of Liberal Judaism. He was preceded in this role by Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger, who stepped down when she took up the pulpit at West London Synagogue.

Rabbi Dr Andrew began his life as a pulpit rabbi at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) in 1970, a synagogue at which he is now emeritus rabbi. He is also chair of Liberal Judaism’s Bet Din. Together with his indefatigable wife Sharon, he founded the Kadimah summer camp, which remains phenomenally successful to this day. He ran Liberal Judaism’s education department for 20 years, even while devoting himself fully to the task of enabling NPLS to grow, such that it is now one of the largest of Liberal Judaism’s 39 communities. He is chair of the European Union for Progressive Judaism and sits on the executive committee of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and the International Council of Christians and Jews. A co-editor of Liberal Judaism’s machzor, Machzor Ruach Chadashah, Rabbi Dr Andrew also co-edited – with Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh – the High and Holy Days anthology of readings for the Days of Awe.

Liberal Judaism’s chief executive, Rabbi Danny Rich, said: “Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein is one of the most successful congregational rabbis in Liberal Jewish history.  He was the founding rabbi of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue, serving it for more than 40 years.  Assisted by his wife Sharon, the community has grown to be the second largest and one of the most innovative in our movement.  By personal example and professional leadership Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein has modelled the ‘thoughtful Liberal Jew’, and I have no doubt he is the best candidate we might have found to fill the post of Liberal Judaism’s president.”

The movement’s chairman, Lucian J. Hudson, said: “We elected Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein as president with acclamation. Rabbi Dr Andrew lives and breathes Liberal Judaism, and is an inspiration to us all. He sees the big picture and how our movement can contribute to the growth of Progressive Judaism in the UK and internationally.”

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