Big numbers at small Reading community’s big birthday

19 July 2018

The Reading Liberal Jewish Community proudly celebrated its 40th birthday with a special Shabbat service and celebratory lunch.

The small community’s numbers were swelled for the event as current members were joined by old friends, officers and dignitaries of Liberal Judaism and no less than seven rabbis.

The service was led by Reading’s Rabbi Miri Lawrence with the sermon delivered by Rabbi Danny Rich, the senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism.

Rabbi Rachel Benjamin led the singing, alongside Liberal Judaism Board member Graham Carpenter, while Rabbis Richard Jacobi and Hadassah Davis shared their memories of serving the community in times past.

Liberal Judaism vice president, Rosita Rosenberg, read an excerpt about what was then The Thames Valley Progressive Jewish Community from her book Liberal Judaism: The First Hundred Years. Liberal Judaism Board member Ros Clayton also attended.

Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, president of Liberal Judaism and one of the first Rabbis to take services at Reading, led Kiddush with the younger members of the community.

Members of the Reading community were also actively involved in the service, with Maddy Gozman welcoming the congregation to the special day and Paul Kennet read a moving message from Rabbi Alexandra Wright, who delivered her first ever sermon in Reading in the 1980’s.

Finally, after a delicious lunch, the community’s oldest member Ann Selinger cut the celebratory cake with Rabbi Harry Jacobi, who has also led many services at Reading in the past.

The community’s Jane Carpenter said: “We were honoured to have so many rabbis and senior members of Liberal Judaism play a role in our special day, as well as lots of current and past members – who carried the scroll and read various prayers.

“All in all, it was another joyful Shabbat at the home of our small yet beautiful congregation.”

The Reading Liberal Jewish Community always extends a warm welcome to visitors and new members. Please contact the Community at to find out more.

Share this Post