How your religion school can enter the LAFTAs

4 October 2016 – 2 Tishri 5777

4 October 2016

Every two years, at the Day of Celebration, Liberal Judaism’s religion schools take part in a short film competition.

The LAFTAs (Liberal Academy for Film and Torah Awards), see our youth make films, of a few minutes long, on a Jewish topic. They are then judged on creativity, humour, youth participation, artistic merit and overall brilliance.

The theme for 2017 asks ‘what would your community look like in the Messianic Age?’

LAFTAs co-ordinator Candy Parfitt explains: “We want our religion schools to think about creating an ideal world – a world where everyone is working together towards social justice, environmental stability and global harmony.

“This is an opportunity to inspire and empower your community’s young (and not-so-young) people to see their Judaism in a living, breathing action-taking way, as well as an excuse to have meaningful conversations about social justice with your students.”

Rabbi Rebecca Birk – who chairs the Day of Celebration organising committee – added: “It’s good for our kids to dream, think and care about our future. I can’t imagine with all the Liberal theology they’ve received, they’ll think someone coming on a white horse will do it for them. Our young people care and the LAFTAS will be an entertaining way for them to show that they do!”

To help prepare for the project, a short mini-curriculum and resource pack – complete with examples of inspirational people and organisations who work to perfect the world, as well as plenty of information on the concept of the Messianic Age – will be made available on the Liberal Judaism website. It will also include tips and information on the logistics of making a short film.

The ideas behind this year’s LAFTAs are already inspiring Liberal Jewish youth. Nine year old Anna Whear said: “Tikkun olam and social justice are important because if we don’t look after the world today, it won’t be good for future generations.”

The deadline for communities to register their interest in the LAFTAs is December 5 and the deadline for film submissions is April 28, 2017. The Day of Celebration takes place on Sunday June 11, 2017, at Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue. For more information, please email Candy on

Previous winners are Gloucestershire Liberal Jewish Community [pictured] and South Bucks Jewish Community.

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