Listen to Rabbi Aaron Goldstein’s People’s Playlist

30 January 2019

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein has picked out his People’s Playlist, as part of the popular BBC Three Counties radio show where guests tell their life stories through music.

Aaron, who is chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors, joined host Sophie Sulehria for the programme, which is broadcast every Sunday.

Aaron started the show by talking about his happy childhood in Northwood, having “an amazing rabbi” for a father in Liberal Judaism president Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein and seeing the early growth of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) where he later took over from his dad as the rabbi.

He then spoke about developing a strong Jewish identity in his teens – where he learned to revel in being one of the few Jewish children at school and explaining our faiths to others, something he still enjoys doing today. He also loved being part of the Liberal Jewish youth movement, now known as LJY-Netzer, where he would spend weekends and summers with other young Liberal Jews – combining what he loved in secular life with his Judaism.

Aaron shared many stories and experiences from his gap year in Israel as an 18-year-old and told how he then struggled coming back to England for his first year at Aston University. Moving into a flat with friends in his second year, Aaron’s university life got much better. After graduating, he went to work for British Steel for a number of years before deciding to study for the rabbinate.

Aaron also told how he met his wife Tammy on a synagogue trip to the Czech Republic, why he made the decision to follow in his father’s footsteps as the rabbi of NPLS and what he has learned from his two daughters Liora and Shaya.

He concluded the show by talking about Liberal Judaism’s history of busting boundaries and fighting for equality.

Aaron said: “Right from our founding in 1902, Liberal Judaism was a radical organisation. Women had complete equality, way more than a decade before suffrage in this country. Personally, I have been part of the campaign towards equal rights for LBGTQI+ people. I was delighted that the first wedding my children ever experienced was for two women at Nottingham Liberal Synagogue. They didn’t bat an eyelid. It was just normal to them, as I hope it will be going into the future.

“I believe in inclusivity. The more that you include people, rather than exclude people, the better society you end up with.”

You can listen to the show on BBC Sounds by clicking here.

Aaron’s chosen songs for his People’s Playlist were:

  • Buddy Holly – That’ll Be The Day
  • Marillion – White Russian
  • Led Zeppelin (pictured) – Ramble On
  • Neil Young – I Am A Child
  • Abayudaya Jews of Uganda – Lecha Dodi
  • The Stranglers – Walk On By
  • Tracy Chapman – All That You Have Is Your Soul
  • Chance The Rapper – Blessings
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