Yom Sheini, 27 Elul 5774
Monday, 22 September 2014
News Archive July 2012

 

Rabbi Danny Rich Puts Liberal Judaism on the Map at University Symposium

Liberal Judaism’s chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich addressed a symposium at Durham University last Thursday entitled ‘Jewish Identity and Security.’ Rabbi Rich’s session, ‘The Founders of Liberal Judaism: English Gentlemen of the Mosaic Persuasion?’ joined sessions as varied as ‘”The people of the chequebook": Diaspora Jewish Identity, Security, Stereotypes and Contemporary Cinema’ and ‘Dual Loyalty or the Canary in the Coalmine: Jews, antisemites and national security.’

Other presenters at the symposium included the writer Dr. Keith-Kahn Harris, Southampton University’s Dr. Devorah Baum and Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism’s Professor David Feldman.

Commenting after the symposium, Rabbi Rich said: “My session, which was one of a number of historical ones at the symposium, was well-received and it was very satisfying - not to mention interesting - to be able to put Liberal Judaism onto a map where it is not usually found."

 

Liberal Judaism calls for re-doubling of effort in interfaith relations

In the wake of the recent upset in Jewish/Anglican relations when the Anglican Synod endorsed the World Council of Churches’  Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), Liberal Judaism’s Board of National Officers is calling on the Board of Deputies of British Jews to redouble its efforts in the field of interfaith relations.

Liberal Judaism’s chairman, Lucian J. Hudson, and chief executive, Rabbi Danny Rich, have made a joint statement in which they lament that the rift came at a time of immense progress in interfaith matters. They said:

“There are a number of organisations committed to the elimination of injustice, whatever its origins and whomsoever are its victims.

Misunderstandings require a strengthening, not a diminishing of interfaith work. Rather than looking back, we ought to ask: what’s next for interfaith relations? We need to build bridges, but not if these bridges are built of straw or hot air.  We need a deeper and more meaningful engagement where there is a genuine striving to understand the other. Purposeful engagement, rather than a siege mentality, offers a possible solution to all sides. When it comes to the situation in Israel andPalestine, we say: no people should live under occupation, but equally no country's right to exist should be constantly challenged.”

Liberal Judaism has always placed great emphasis on the importance of interfaith work, and employs an interfaith consultant, Rabbi Mark Solomon, to develop, maintain and build on the movement’s relationships with other faiths. He can be contacted via  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Lucian J. Hudson edited the cross-community booklet Zionism for The Board of Deputies of British Jews in December 2010. Rabbi Danny Rich was one of the main contributors.


Liberal, Masorti and Reform unite in social action

Liberal Judaism, Masorti Judaism and the Movement for Reform Judaism have announced plans for their first ever joint appointment. All three organisations will contribute to the employment of a Community Organiser working with Jewish communities and in the London Borough of Barnet.

The appointment will be made in collaboration with Citizens UK, the country’s largest diverse and independent civic alliance for social justice. The Community Organiser will join the Citizens UK team of 35 talented Community Organisers pioneering a new form of civic action and political change, and will benefit from training by leading practitioners in the UK and US. They will introduce to the three movements the hugely successful US model of community organising, a process through which communities are empowered to take charge of their own lives and change for the better.

The appointment builds on the pioneering work of all three movements with Citizens UK, particularly in Finchley where each movement has a thriving congregation and where - in collaboration with four other local faith organisations - an emergency night shelter for the homeless was set up. The shelter’s location rotated between each place of worship and was staffed by clergy and volunteers from across the faiths.

This represents an upscaling of the three movements' commitment to social action nationwide, providing the skills they need to become effective campaigners, engaging their membership and growing communities.

The successful applicant will spend one day a week with each of the sponsoring movements and two days a week with Citizens UK, developing skills to be applied across the whole Jewish community in Barnet.

The post is now being advertised and the deadline for applications is Friday 24th August.

Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism says: "This is good news for all sorts of reasons. Our enhanced working with the Masorti and Reform movements is clearly of value to all of us, and our partnerships with Citizens UK is something that Liberal Judaism has valued for some time. The experience and skills which Citizens UK can bring to Liberal Judaism and its social justice work bode well for practical expressions of our prophetic mission."

Matt Plen, Chief Executive of Masorti Judaism says: "Community Organising brings together diverse groups to work for the common good. This initiative proves it can bridge the denominational divide within the Jewish community just as effectively as between faith and other groups. I'm proud that last year several Masorti institutions became founder members of North London Citizens. I'm just as delighted to be working together with Citizens UK and with our Reform and Liberal colleagues to promote our shared values of citizenship, community and social justice. We look forward to being able to include colleagues from the Orthodox community in this exciting venture in the near future."

Ben Rich, Chief Executive of the Movement for Reform Judaism says: "A key value of Reform Judaism is engaging with the outside world, playing a full part in the wider community. This initiative will help us to do that, while at the same time equipping our communities with the skills they need to reach out to members and grow and develop their own activities."

Neil Jameson, Director of Citizens UK, says: "This exciting new post will help realise the great potential for Jewish communities to work alongside other faiths for social justice. We are delighted that the Liberal, Masorti and Reform movements are working together with us to use community organising to develop leadership, strengthen congregations and do social action."

 

Liberal Judaism Chairman Attends Munich Massacre Plaque Unveiling

24th July 2012

Liberal Judaism’s chairman, Lucian J. Hudson, joined the Board of Deputies’ president, Vivian Wineman, at the unveiling of a plaque on Sunday to commemorate the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972. The plaque was arranged by a group called the Britain and Israel Olympic Plaque Committee, co-chaired by Martin Sugarman (chair of Hackney-Haifa Twinning Association) and Councillor Linda Kelly, past Speaker of Hackney. Hudson joined representatives from a large number of other organisations, including AJEX, the Zionist Federation, Jewish Care, The Jewish Police Association and BICOM, as well as a handful of MPs. Olympics organiser Sebastian Coe did not attend, and nor did he send along a message of support. The plaque itself was unveiled by London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, at an art gallery in Hackney, not far from the Olympic park.

The plaque’s unveiling came about in the context of growing dismay and anger at the International Olympic Committee’s refusal to accord a minute’s silence in memory of the murdered athletes during this Friday’s opening ceremony. Liberal Judaism’s communities will join Jewish communities around the world in saying special kaddish and yizkor prayers for the murdered, during this services this coming Shabbat. In addition, members have been encouraged to join the ‘Minute for Munich’movement in observing a minute’s silence at 11am this Friday.

Click here to see a special prayer written by Woodford Liberal Synagogue’s Rabbi Richard Jacobi, which honours the victims and asks for a peaceful Olympics this time around.

 

From Kadimah to the Board of Deputies

Liberal Judaism is kvelling with pride at the recent election of two of LJY-Netzer’s bogrim (graduates) to the Board of Deputies. Gabriel Webber and Sam Alston, both from Kingston Liberal Synagogue, are now two of the youngest Deputies. Their election comes at a time of great change for the Board, which has also seen an increase in the number of women elected, following the Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership, led by Deputy Laura Marks.

Speaking about his election, Webber said: “2012 is my sixth LJY-Netzer summer in a row: for the first three I was a chanich (participant) and since 2010, a leader. I've found that leading is a wonderful and rewarding way to give back to the Liberal community and I hope that working with the Board will be an opportunity to contribute to the wider Jewish community.”

However, Webber and Alston aren’t allowing their new roles to distract from their movement work commitments – August will see them hard at work making LJY-Netzer’s flagship Machaneh Kadimahan event to remember.

 

South London primary could regenerate community

The JC
23 July 2012

The potential of the South London Jewish Primary School to regenerate Jewish life in the region is evidenced by the number of inquiries to project leaders since its application was approved.

SLJPS co-chair Eugene Ryvchin said the response from both the Jewish and wider community had been “overwhelming. The school is likely to be oversubscribed.” The heightened interest included emails from parents “asking where the school might be as they are thinking of moving to the area”.

South London congregations have united behind the project and 60 Jewish families are among the 80 or so who registered for the 30 places for the first year in September 2013.

Kingston Liberal Synagogue’s Rabbi Charley Baginsky observed that a common fear of families in smaller communities was that their child would be the only Jewish pupil in their class — “it can be quite isolating”. The free school would offer both a Jewish environment and the opportunity to mix with children of other faiths.
In a wider sense, SLJPS would have a positive impact on Jewish life.“I think it will not only attract people to south London. People who might have moved away will now stay.”  Read more

 

Our Shock and Pain at the News from Bulgaria

Liberal Judaism was shocked and horrified to hear of the murderous bombing attack in Bulgaria yesterday, which has so far killed seven innocent Israeli holidaymakers. Many of us here in the UK have loved ones who are Israeli. So when Israelis are murdered simply because of their nationality, it hurts us too because it feels like an attack on our own friends and families. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the loved ones of those who were murdered by the bomber in Bulgaria, and we pray that the death toll will not rise further.

The glaring horror that those left behind are feeling today is something we cannot begin to imagine. We have no choice but to pray that the violently bereaved may somehow gain strength to deal with the shock and agony of their sudden loss. We also pray that those who survived will not suffer too deeply from the wounds – both physical and mental – that they will have sustained as a result of this brutal attack.

 

Observe a Minute for Munich

17th July 2012

At 11am on Friday 27th July, Liberal Judaism will join individuals and groups from across the globe in observing a minute’s silence for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972. We believe that just because the International Olympic Committee has refused to allocate a minute’s silence to remember these innocent victims, it doesn’t mean that others should refrain from doing so.

The ‘Minute for Munich’ will be observed at 11am on Friday 27th July, the day of the opening ceremony. You can observe the minute quietly alone, or encourage your workplace, school, or university to take part too.

If you’d like to find out more you can visit the facebook page, Minute for Munich. To read an impassioned argument about why we need to go ahead with observing a minute’s silence for the murdered 11, read this article from the Jewish Daily Forward. You may also want to read this article from the Guardian by the Jewish Chronicle’s Jennifer Lipman, in which she argues that the IOC’s refusal to commemorate the murdered athletes is against the Olympic spirit.

In addition to observing a minute’s silence at 11am on Friday morning, Liberal Judaism’s communities nationwide will be reading a special prayer for a peaceful Olympics and, of course, saying Kaddish for the victims. To read the prayer, and see a list of the athlete’s names so that you can say Kaddish for them too, click here.

Lastly, consider this: the 2012 Olympics will last 24,480 minutes. Is devoting one of those minutes to the memory of the murdered Israeli athletes really too much to ask?

 

A Prayer For A Peaceful and Healthy Olympic Competition

To be read on the appropriate Shabbat for the yahrzeit of the eleven athletes who were murdered in tragedy of Munich 1972, which is on 5th - 6th September by the Gregorian calendar and 28 - 29 Elul in the Hebrew calendar.

May El Malei Rachamim - our God who is full of mercy - comfort and support all those who remember their loved ones who died while contributing to the Olympic spirit and healthy competition in the Games of the Twentieth Olympiad, held in Munich in 1972. For those whose lives were changed forever by the events of 5th and 6th September 1972, when terrorists invaded the peaceful village and eleven sportsmen were murdered, we pray that their forty years in the wilderness of their loss may be helped in some way by the knowledge that so many congregations around the world are thinking of them on this Shabbat.

On this Shabbat, we recall the names of:

  • Mark Slavin, 18, Wrestler
  • Eliezer Halfin, 24, Wrestler
  • David Berger, 28, Weightlifter
  • Ze'ev Friedman, 28, Weightlifter
  • Yossef Romano, 31, Weightlifter
  • Andre Spitzer, 27, Fencing coach
  • Moshe Weinberg, 33, Wrestling coach
  • Amitzur Shapira, 40, Track coach
  • Yossef Gutfreund, age 40, Wrestling referee
  • Yakov Springer, 51, Weightlifting judge
  • Kehat Shorr, 53, Shooting coach

May their memory always be for a blessing - zichronum livracha.

By Rabbi Richard Jacobi, Woodford Liberal Synagogue.

 


Munich memorial planned for Olympic Shabbat

The JC
13 July 2012

Hundreds of synagogues across the world will host a special kaddish on Shabbat July 28 (the day after the opening ceremony of the Olympics), for the Israeli athletes murdered 40 years ago in Munich.

The kaddish is the initiative of Barry Shaw, co-founder of the Netanya Terror Victim Fund and author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.

He was inspired to start the campaign because of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) refusal to hold a minute's silence for those murdered, as well as his "total disgust" at the British political establishment's response to the requests of UK Jewish leaders, who asked for the athletes to be honoured.

Mr Shaw declared: "When Jewish people die, it is always up to Jews themselves to commemorate".

He was confident that 500 synagogues worldwide would read out the 11 athletes' Hebrew names, and say kaddish for them.

In Britain, the Liberal Jewish movement has included the plan in its weekly newsletter, and is encouraging all its synagogues to participate.

Synagogues and schools which wish to participate can register at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Ex-MP joins Liberal Judaism board

The JC
July 12 2012

A former Labour minister has joined the board of Liberal Judaism as its new external affairs officer.

Gillian Merron was a health minister in the Labour administration from 2009-10 after previous roles as an under-secretary at the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office.

The Lincoln MP lost her seat in the 2010 election after 13 years in the city, where she became an active member of the small Jewish community.

Lucian Hudson, Liberal chairman for the past three years, has been re-elected, along with vice-chairmen Simon Benscher and Jackie Richards.

Liberal Judaism’s council unanimously decided to set up four key action groups, tackling “areas where we could be even more successful as a movement, building membership and driving engagement”, Mr Hudson explained. The groups cover public relations, strategy, finance and social justice.

 

Liberal Rabbi Defends Circumcision on BBC World Service

Rabbi Pete Tobias appeared on the BBC World Service’s Newshour programme today to defend the sacred rite of circumcision after it was outlawed by a regional German court. Rabbi Pete Tobias was debating the issue on air with a medical doctor who was opposed to the practice.

Speaking on the programme, Rabbi Tobias said: “For one group to decide that another group cannot carry out its religious custom is taking things too far. Circumcision is a custom central to our tradition, and has been handed down from generation to generation. The fact that this is happening in Germany doesn’t help. Any religious group that has a custom that it has cherished for a long time will resist any attempts to change it.”

You can listen again here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002vsnk

 

Liberal Judaism is Opposed to German Circumcision Ruling

Liberal Judaism expresses its solidarity with the recent joint statement put out by the German Jewish and Muslim communities in response to a regional German court’s ruling against circumcision. We support and advocate the World Union of Progressive Judaism’s statement on the ruling, which says that ‘The notion that parents do not have the right to initiate their children into the sacred rites of their respective religions is an affront to human liberty.”

To read the WUPJ’s statement in full please visit: http://wupj.org/News/NewsItem.asp?ContentID=578.

 

Yvette Cooper: David Cameron must stand firm on same-sex marriage

The Evening Standard
10 July 2012

Rumours in Westminster are growing that the subject of same-sex marriage has been kicked into the long grass. David Cameron was right to support same-sex marriage but he would be very wrong to wobble at the slightest opposition

When couples love each other and want to make a commitment, that should be a cause for celebration, not discrimination. Those couples should be able to marry, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

Opposition from some has been predictable. Some church leaders have been loud and angry in their response, just as they were to civil partnerships eight years ago. And some Conservative backbenchers are rumoured to be demanding legislation is ditched to soothe stressed Right-wing nerves over wider Government troubles and Coalition rows.

But neither of these problems justifies delay. Instead, the Government should do three things.

For a start, the Prime Minister should respond to the concerns that have been put forward by some church leaders, and not stay silent. No church would be required to hold same-sex marriages. Freedom of religion is immensely important. The claim by some in the Church of England that they could be forced to hold same-sex marriage by the European courts if the law changed is inconceivable. Like the British courts and Parliament, the European courts have always respected freedom of religion. Indeed, it is embedded in Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Secondly, all three major parties back religious freedom and Parliament could reiterate this in passing legislation. The Government needs to recognise the flipside of the argument. Respect for freedom of religion also means supporting groups such as the Quakers, Unitarians and liberal and reform Judaism, who want to be able to solemnise same-sex marriages. Currently the Government rules that out.  Read more

Prominent Liberal Jews meet the Dalai Lama

Prominent Liberal Jews were among those meeting the Dalai Lama at Westminster Abbey last month.

Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, Gillian Merron, Rabbi Mark Solomon and Joan and Howard Shopper all attended the 'Moment of Prayer and Reflection in the Presence of the Dalai Lama' event.

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The Dalai Lama responded to Rabbi Andrew's greeting by saying "Shalom" (pictured above).

Andrew said: "The Dalai Lama gave a charming address to the leaders and representatives of many faiths present.

"He said that if religious leaders and religions cannot live peaceably together, how can we hope to bring peace to the world."

 

'Gender equality here to stay in Jewish community'

The JC
July 5th 2012

A “kitemark” for Jewish organisations that actively seek out women for leadership roles will make sure gender equality stays on the agenda, according to the final report from the Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership (CWJL).

Supporters at the launch of the CWJL report, headed by Board of Deputies senior vice-president Laura Marks, privately expressed relief that the recommendations had been approved by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC).

One said the CWJL had had to work “with the grain” of the conservative JLC, “rather than propose radical change, and negotiate back from the impossible”.

Liberal Judaism’s Rabbi Danny Rich said that since the commission had begun, his movement now has 50 per cent female trustees.

“I have actively gone out to look for women who are the right profile for the job. That is positive discrimination, but I don’t need to go looking for the men for the roles, because they put themselves forward.”  Read more

 

Pressing the case for equal marriage

Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, the co-chair of Liberal Judaism’s Rabbinic Conference, met with Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper this week to press the case for equal marriage.

Shulamit was part of a delegation that included representatives from the Quakers, Unitarians, Anglicans and Reform Judaism.

She told the Shadow Home Secretary how it is now nearly seven years since the publication of Liberal Judaism’s Covenant of Love, Brit Ahavah, the first UK liturgical collection for celebrating same sex unions. It was published in 2005 to coincide with the introduction of civil partnerships.

In the last seven years, many Liberal synagogues and rabbis have supported lesbian and gay couples in celebrating their civil partnerships with a commitment ceremony. However a religious ceremony must, by law, currently be completely separate from the civil partnership registration.

Liberal Judaism wants to work towards the integration of a Jewish ceremony of commitment with legal marriage, exercising our religious freedom to meet the needs of couples who want to celebrate their legal union in the midst of their synagogue community.

Shulamit told Shadow Home Secretary how the current legislation is faulty and inadequate and that no Liberal synagogue has yet succeeded in registering their premises for the purpose of civil partnerships. These problems are shared by the Quakers and Unitarians.

It was also noted at the meeting that a majority of Anglicans support access to marriage for same-sex couples, despite the recent publication of the Church of England’s response to the Government consultation on the topic.

Shulamit said: “I am really excited that there is so much support for opening marriage to same-sex couples from across parliament and many UK faith communities, particularly among the Anglican congregations and clergy.

“I look forward to the day when we will be able to offer a Jewish celebration to same-sex couples of their marriage.

“Bringing dignity to every couple and beginning every marriage in holiness.”

 

London’s Jews prepare for the Olympics with Munich massacre in mind

The Times of Israel
3 July 2012

For the British Jewish community, the most memorable moment of the London Olympics may be a somber one.

On August 6, several hundred people are expected to attend a commemoration for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“From conversations across the community, the key thing people are engaged in around the Olympics is that they want to see a commemoration of Munich,” said Peter Mason, director of the London Jewish Forum.

While a ceremony organized by the Israelis and the local community takes place during every Olympic Games, this one marks the 40th anniversary of the massacre. The International Olympics Committee continues to reject international calls for a minute of silence during the opening ceremony on July 27.

But the community also has made a point of joining the general air of celebration sweeping London in the run-up to the Games. In the past year, nearly every Jewish school, youth group and charity has run Olympics-related activities. And during the Olympics, London’s Jews will welcome thousands of Jewish visitors with social events, synagogue services, guides to Jewish London and, in the Olympic Village, pastoral care.

Four local rabbis from across the denominational spectrum will join 186 other chaplains serving the athletes, delegation members, staff and volunteers. Rabbi Richard Jacobi of the Woodford Liberal Synagogue says he will be available for those looking “for a sympathetic ear from their own faith, or from faith in general,” in case of stress, a personal emergency or any other need. The pastoral team also is part of the contingency plans in case of a large-scale incident.

“Personally this is a once-in-a-life opportunity to be involved in something that presents London and British Jewry in the best possible light,” Jacobi said. “Many people think that London is dominated by anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and that is not the case. There is a degree of background radiation, but it certainly does not influence people’s lives on a daily basis. People enjoy being Jewish in London.”

Nevertheless, he adds, “The 40th anniversary of the Munich tragedy is also at the back of my mind. If anything were to happen, being part of the response feels very important to me rabbinically and personally.”

Many of his congregants are volunteering in the Olympic Village or as “hosts” posted at strategic points in London to help tourists. Like many other local synagogues, his shul will host two Shabbat services particularly aimed at visitors, and in the Olympic Village Orthodox and non-Orthodox services aim to alternate.  Read more

 

Liberal Judaism's new Board of National Officers

Liberal Judaism's Council unanimously decided to set up four key action groups at this year’s AGM, following a recommendation from its Board of National Officers to achieve even more impact over the next three years.

Chairman Lucian J Hudson hailed the move as one which will enable change and praised the movement’s “exceptional set of officers” after the meeting.

Lucian, who has served three years in his role, was re-elected unopposed and unanimously at the AGM, which was held on Tuesday July 3 and presided over by former chairman Jeromé Freedman.

Liberal Judaism's two vice chairs, Simon Benscher and Jackie Richards, are also continuing in their roles, with Simon being re-elected this year and Jackie in 2011.

The AGM also saw the election and appointment of a group of new officers.

Rosie Comb, David Hockman, Gillian Merron, Ruth Seager and Tamara Schmidt were all elected at the meeting.

Ed Herman was appointed to lead the new PR and Communications Action Group, with Howard Cohen appointed to head up a Strategy and Governance Action Group and Amelia Viney appointed to create a Social Justice Action Group.

David Pelham was appointed to set up and run a Finance Action Group, which is tasked with liaising with the auditors and advising on finance in the absence of a treasurer.

The AGM also paid warm tribute to Leon Chariker, who has stepped down as Liberal Judaism’s officer for social action and disability.

Speaking after the event, Lucian said: “Liberal Judaism is about inspiring change and taking action. So I am thrilled that our Council has agreed unanimously the creation of four action groups, and re-elected for another three years its chairman and vice chair.”

 

Liberal Judaism Launches Landmark Jewish LGBT History Project

Liberal Judaism announced it is launching a landmark history and heritage project to chart the Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the 1950s to the present day. ‘Rainbow Jews’, as the project is called, will be the first of its kind in the UK and leave an important legacy for future generations. The project’s theme is “Pioneers and Milestones”, and it will include oral history, memorabilia and archive creation. The launch comes thanks to a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The last 60 years have seen enormous changes and strides forward in the road to full civil rights for LGBT people and Liberal Judaism – founded in 1902 – has always been at the vanguard of institutions fighting for and providing equal rights for all. Liberal Judaism became the first religious movement to institute official liturgy for blessing same-sex partnerships, when it published its B’rit Ahavah in 2005, shortly before the Government passed the Civil Partnership bill.

The discoveries and resources developed by the project will be made available to the public via free and accessibly channels, including the internet, booklets, a touring exhibition and an educational resource pack for secondary schools.

Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism said: “Liberal Judaism gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund in enabling us to map and preserve this fascinating and valuable history for future generations. Liberal Judaism values the diversity not only of its own 35 communities across the country, but also of the UK Jewish community as a whole. This project is the perfect way for us to celebrate that.”

 

Mayor and Tibetan Buddhist abbot plant evergreen shrub in Spa Gardens

London SE1 Community Website
1st July 2012

An evergreen Mexican orange blossom bush was planted in Spa Gardens, Bermondsey, on Saturday as part of an interfaith environmental event.

The Sundance Choisya, a plant with leaves which can turn golden in the sun, was placed in the ground on Saturday afternoon by Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, Abbot of Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Scotland, and Mayor of Southwark Cllr Althea Smith.

The shrub has been planted opposite the Tibetan Buhddist centre in Spa Road.

Earlier guests had gathered indoors to hear religious leaders reflect on faith-based approaches to caring for the environment.

Other speakers included Rabbi Janet Darley from the South London Liberal Synagogue, Yusuf from Old Kent Road Mosque and Simon Hughes MP.  Read more