Liberal communities praised by The Jewish Chronicle

26 September 2017

Liberal Judaism’s founding synagogue, and one of the movement’s newest communities, have both been praised by The Jewish Chronicle.

The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS), founded in 1911 and the oldest and largest Liberal community, was the subject of the JC’s popular ‘Secret Shul Goer’ column.

The anonymous reporter gave the synagogue a top rating of 5/5 for the warmth of welcome, with strong scores also received for the decorum, service and Kiddush.

Describing the sermon by Rabbi Alexandra Wright as the “stand out” part of the service, the Secret Shul Goer wrote: “She connected the theme of the weekly Torah portion with current judicial negotiations concerning egalitarian access to the Western Wall. She was thorough in setting out the history of the matter, clear in connecting it with the values of her own Jewish community, and unswerving in her demand for action. And all in a calm, quiet but defiant voice. It was an incredibly moving experience.”

The “easy to follow service”, beautiful singing and elegant Ark were also commended. Referencing the nearby cricket ground, the report concluded: “A morning with the Lord at LJS was a pretty good start to my weekend.”

You can read the full Secret Shul Goer article by clicking here.

This week’s Rosh Hashanah edition of the JC also featured a full page on South Bucks Jewish Community, which has 200 members, including 40 cheder children, spread across a number of Chilterns towns and villages.

JC reporter Ben Weich spoke to the community’s Rabbi Charley Baginsky, as well as prominent members, for the piece – finding a growing, welcoming and modern congregation.

Explaining how South Bucks aims to weave Judaism through all aspects of members’ lives, Charley told the paper: “We are a ‘doors-open’ community. I find a lot of our members are people who haven’t found a home with other synagogues – or thought they couldn’t. We put pizza on after the service and give people the chance to socialise. That’s what they want after a long day at work or school.

“I like that idea of exploring how Judaism can be a 24/7 pursuit, working from where people are at in their lives.

“More than anything, this community is very proud and very confident of its Judaism.”

Read the full article on South Bucks Jewish Community by clicking here.

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