Four communities unite for unique Kabbalat Torah trip

31 January 2018

Twenty seven young people, three rabbis, two LJY-Netzer movement workers and a community worker – representing four different Liberal communities – visited three parts of the Midlands over one weekend.

The Kabbalat Torah students from Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue, Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, Finchley Progressive Synagogue and Nottingham Liberal Synagogue came together as part of their studies.

They spent Friday night at a service in Nottingham, before heading to Lincoln where they enjoyed Shabbat morning with the Lincolnshire Jewish Community and visited the city’s cathedral, where there is a plaque about Little St Hugh – a Christian boy whose death in 1255 was blamed on Jews, a blood libel which led to many innocent people losing their lives.

The weekend finished with an emotional visit to the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Newark.

Kabbalat Torah is a programme unique to Liberal Judaism that allows young people to continue their studies past bar/batmitzvah and then, at the age of 15/16, affirm their commitment to Judaism as their own personal decision.

The trip was led by Rabbis Aaron Goldstein (Northwood), Margaret Jacobi (Birmingham) and Tanya Sakhnovich (Nottingham), as well as Finchley’s community education and development manager Zoe Jacobs and LJY-Netzer movement workers Hannah Stephenson and Ellie Lawson.

Aaron said: “It was fantastic to see such a bond being formed between young people who will be the future leaders of our Jewish community.

“Some parts of the trip were difficult – especially seeing the persecution and horrors Jews suffered in both Medieval times and just a few generations ago – but it made everyone even more determined to remember the past and show the positives of leading a Jewish life today.”

To find out more about Liberal Judaism’s Kabbalat Torah programme, please email Aaron on

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