Celebrating a year of success at Patron’s Dinner

14 June 2016

Rabbi Danny Rich, the senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism, hailed a successful year for the movement when addressing the 12th Annual Council of Patrons’ Dinner.

Taking place at The House of Lords, Danny outlined how money donated by Patrons is used for three agreed purposes: to raise the Liberal Judaism profile, to support the development of new communities and to pioneer new initiatives.

After speaking about Liberal Judaism’s successful student work and increasing media profile, Danny turned to how the movement strengthens and supports communities.

He said: “The decision of Shir haTzafon, the Liberal Jewish community of Copenhagen, to join Liberal Judaism is significant.

“Subject to the British electorate, we may soon be in a position to apply for grants from the European Union (EU), being represented in three EU countries: the United Kingdom, Eire and Denmark.

“More important it shows a little strategic thinking. When Sandra Kviat was ordained by the Leo Baeck College some years ago as the only Danish speaking Progressive rabbi in the world, it was utilising Patrons’ money that I created a post for her as Liberal Judaism’s Education Director.

“This is an example of a virtuous circle where Patrons’ money is invested in the future of Judaism. Were that not enough we already have requests to support groups in Belfast and elsewhere so watch this space!”

The keynote speaker at the dinner was Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Executive Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ).

He spoke about the continuing battle for equal rights for Progressive Jews in Israel, as well as the successes the movement has enjoyed in its 50-plus year history.

Other special guests at the dinner included Gillian Merron, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, and student Jennifer Harper, who spoke passionately about the support she has received from Liberal Judaism while at university.

The dinner was hosted by Lord Haskel, Deputy Speaker of The House of Lords, and organised by Joan Shopper.

[Photo: Liberal and Progressive Rabbis at the House of Lords for the annual Patrons Dinner. Picture by John Bernard]  

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