New project to explore Liberal Judaism’s community heritage

29 November 2018

Liberal Judaism’s latest oral history project will examine the revolutionary heritage of our movement, from its inception in the early 1900s to the present day.

Lily’s Legacy: The Radical History and Heritage of Liberal Judaism in Britain will research, document, map and showcase more than 115 years of Liberal Judaism by means of oral history, photography, film, publications, digital and other interactive media.

The National Lottery funded project takes its name from Lily Montagu (1873 – 1963), one of the three founders of Liberal Judaism and a tireless campaigner for the rights of women.

Liberal Judaism has always been at the cutting edge of modernity, inclusivity and equality, providing a home for everyone’s Jewish story.

This new project will examine how the vision of our founders – Lily Montagu, Claude Montefiore and Rabbi Dr Israel Mattuck – is being lived today. It will document and share this rich heritage so that its contribution to British society can be celebrated and preserved for future generations.

Lily’s Legacy is generously supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and will be managed by Surat-Shaan Knan, who previously ran the Rainbow Jews, Twilight People and Rainbow Pilgrims projects.

The project will provide opportunities for a wide range of people to participate and engage. Calls for participation will commence in January 2019 with the project scheduled to be completed by May 2020.

We are looking for members of Liberal Judaism to donate their oral histories, photographs and memorabilia.

We also need volunteers to record this history and help put together our exhibition and education materials. This is a skill-sharing project, so those taking part will receive free training in oral history, archive, interview and curator skills and learn about digital interpretation.

The collection will be deposited with the London Metropolitan Archives. Other partners and associates include The Wiener Library, Parkes Institute/University of Southampton, Woolf Institute/Cambridge, The Faith and Belief Forum, The Board of Deputies of British Jews, and The Jewish Museum London.

To take part or find out more, please email Surat-Shaan Knan on

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery.

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