Liberal Judaism (LJ) and the Movement for Reform Judaism (MRJ) have created an alliance between their two movements. Together already accounting for nearly a third of synagogue-affiliated Jews, with 82 communities, the UK’s two Progressive movements are seeking to capitalise on the 30% growth in those identifying themselves as sharing their values, according to the recent JPR studies of Jewish communal attitudes.
The alliance will see an expansion of collaboration between the two movements in areas such as student chaplaincy, social justice and social action. It could also involve a strengthening of existing joint work such as rabbinic training, gap year programming and representation on Israel, cross-communal and other institutions. The alliance will see a sharing of resources and expertise across the two movements, wherever practical.
Liberal and Reform leaders stress that this is not a merger and that the two movements will retain their autonomy and distinct identities. The synagogues will remain constituent members of their respective movements practicing Judaism in the way that is most meaningful to them but the movements will unashamedly work together to speak for and reach out to the third of British Jews who describe themselves as secular, cultural or “just Jewish”.
Rabbi Charley Baginsky is its part-time coordinator whose remit is to develop projects that the two movements will work on jointly to advance Progressive Judaism, its principles and ethos in the UK.
To deepen the activity of the Alliance, Rabbi Charley will be fostering a number of new projects, one of which will be the establishment of an Israel Desk the focus of which will be education, engagement with our members, the coordination of Reform and Liberal messages and work with the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and our many partners in Israel.
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