Yom Rivii, 24 Tishri 5776
Isru Chag Wednesday, 7 October 2015

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Dublin appoints rabbi emeritus

3rd August 2015

Rabbi Dr Charles H Middleburgh has been appointed as the rabbi emeritus, and interim congregational rabbi, at Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation (DJPC).

As rabbi emeritus, Charles will always be available to DJPC for spiritual and religious guidance and to offer rabbinic support in times of need. He will also fill the position of interim congregational rabbi for a period of 18-20 months from September 1, leading services on a regular basis, playing a central role in both adult and youth education and helping the community address its long-term rabbinic requirements.

Dublin Chair David White said: “Charles has built a deep and enduring relationship with the members of DJPC over the last 15 years, the first 10 of which he was our congregational rabbi. Charles and his wife Gilly will be with us in Dublin for the High Holy Days and we plan to celebrate with a formal inauguration in due course.

“Our thanks have also been made to Rabbi Dr Andrew and Sharon Goldstein for their wonderful contribution to DJPC over the last six years. We look forward to welcoming them back during the next year to help us celebrate our 70th anniversary and to thank them more comprehensively.”

Living in a small community: How I helped to launch a Liberal community in York

The JC
July 24th 2015

When former Movement for Reform Judaism chief executive Ben Rich moved from London to York with his young family early in the summer of 2013, there was no organised Jewish life. Today the York congregation - the newest in the Liberal Judaism fold - is celebrating its first anniversary, attracts three dozen people to its monthly Shabbat service, and is searching for a full-time rabbi. Well over 100 individuals have attended a York service or event.

"You will only get that core by talking to people and by chutzpah," says Mr Rich, who was this week appointed interim chief of staff to new Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

He once recruited a woman he saw in the street wearing a Star of David necklace. "It turned out she was a member of Sinai in Leeds but never went because it was too far. She and her family became founding members of York." Press releases to local media also helped.  Read more

'There is no need for a welcoming group - you are it'

The JC

With the Anglo-Jewish population increasingly concentrated in north London and the Hertfordshire suburbs, it is easy to forget that Jewish life exists, and in some cases thrives, in small regional communities.

Dividing her time between leading Gloucestershire Liberal Jewish Community and overseeing outreach and development work at Liberal Judaism's London HQ, Rabbi Anna Gerrard has a special perspective on the pluses and pitfalls.

Rabbi Gerrard classifies a genuine small community as one of under 100 souls which requires financial and bureaucratic support. Those outside the capital can draw members from a 50-mile radius, "so there is the difficulty of getting people to the same place. You can't, for example, run a weekly cheder as parents are not prepared to drive their children on a two-hour round trip every week. You have to think quite creatively about how you run things, when you run things, even what time of day. Most small communities have a bring-and-share supper after Friday service while London communities might have it once every two months. It's partly because some people are travelling so far, it would be too late for them to get home for dinner.  Read more


Shabbat services broadcasted by Liberal synagogue

The Jewish News

A Liberal synagogue in north-west London has began broadcasting its shabbat services.

Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) launched the initiative in early July to allow to those who can’t attend to watch online from anywhere in the world.

The streamed service follows the success of a similar programme run by The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS), and Liberal Judaism’s ‘Day of Celebration’, which was also broadcasted.

The service began in July, boasting viewers “from all over the world” Said Richard Conradi, leader of the NPLS ‘streaming group’. Read more


Reform rabbis' concern over status change

23rd June 2015

The decision by the British Reform movement's rabbis to recognise the children of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother as Jewish without conversion is a radical, but not revolutionary, one.

The movement is not the first to have adopted the principle of what is now being called "equilineal descent".

While the Reform move marks a clear departure from traditional halachah - where Jewish status derives from the mother - it brings it into line with other Progressive groups such as Liberal Judaism in Britain, which began to recognise patrilineal Jews as far back as the mid-1950s, and American Reform.  Read more


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