Day of Celebration keynote speakers announced

28 February 2019 – 23 Adar I 5779

26 February 2019

Dame Margaret Hodge and Jean Gaffin OBE will present the keynote session at this year’s Liberal Judaism Day of Celebration.

Our flagship event of 2019 takes place on Sunday 23 June at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS). The theme is ‘If I am only for myself…’, and the day will focus on the role of communities in supporting their members and how, in turn, we can empower members to support others.

Margaret, a Labour MP and former Minister for Children, will be in conversation with Jean, an eminent figure in British healthcare. Both have a distinguished history of enacting social change: Margaret making policy and Jean carrying it out.

Margaret and Jean will be addressing their experiences and looking at the things communities can do to help build the fabric of society – either on their own or in collaboration with the state. The session will cover 70 years of social history in Britain, from the founding of the NHS right up to austerity and Brexit.

This keynote will be part of a full programme of sessions celebrating and discussing the Jewish textual basis for community relationships, current best practice and the deeper questions around community responsibility vs state responsibility. Presenters will include senior Liberal Judaism rabbis and leaders, as well as outside speakers from a range of organisations and charities.

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships, said: “The Day of Celebration will examine our theme on both the micro and macro level.

“It will showcase all the wonderful things happening in our communities, such as Memory Matters in Northwood, Singing For The Mind at the LJS, the mental health work being done in Birmingham and the Salaam Shalom Kitchen in Nottingham.

“But it will also ask wider questions about the role of a community. How can a community provide services that the state doesn’t? How can we best volunteer our time? And how much can we realistically expect to be able to do ourselves?”

LJY-Netzer will be running a parallel programme for children aged between 6 and 15 and there will be a fully staffed crèche for the youngest delegates.

Registration at the Day of Celebration will open at 9.30am with the event getting underway at 10.30am. It is scheduled to finish at 4.30pm. Tickets are £35 for adults, £15 for children/students or £70 for a family (maximum two adults).

For those looking to make a weekend of it, Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) will once again host the LJ Music Day on Saturday 22 June.

The theme will be ‘Music reflecting the text’ and it will look towards our new siddur and in what direction that might take our synagogue music. Some elements will then continue through into the music track at the Day of Celebration.

To find out more about these two inspiring events, and book your Day of Celebration tickets, visit

To enquire about travel subsidies, email Tom on

Share this Post