9 April 2019
Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi has made a strong stand for our Liberal Jewish values on equality and openness in a joint letter to the Guardian with Methodist minister Deacon Ruth Yorke.
Margaret, who is rabbi at Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, joined with nearby Christian minister Ruth in penning the letter in protest at the treatment of Andrew Moffat and other staff members at the local Parkfield school.
Assistant head teacher Andrew, who is gay, and others have suffered intimidation and abuse by some in the Muslim community seeking to prevent the implementation of new Government guidance on teaching about LGBT relationships.
The letter reads: “We were sad to read about the abuse faced by the staff of Parkfield school, and Andrew Moffat in particular. He has done remarkable work, which until the recent protests had been accepted by Muslim parents because he worked closely with them and explained what he has been doing. It seems that a few parents have caused the situation to escalate beyond reason.
“The materials used are gentle and child-friendly, telling beautiful stories of acceptance. The protesting parents must either not have seen them or be determined to oppose the teaching whatever the evidence.”
The letter adds: “It is important to point out that not all religious communities oppose the acceptance of same-sex relationships. Liberal Judaism has been at the forefront of the campaign for equal marriage, and many Christians and churches are journeying towards equal marriage.
“Both the Progressive Synagogue in Birmingham and the Church at Carrs Lane, which we represent, are inclusive and affirming.
“Compassion and understanding should be at the heart of all religious teaching; it saddens us that this has been so absent in the recent debates.”Click here to read the letter in The Guardian
Rabbi Danny Rich, Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, was a recent signatory to a Stonewall letter in the i with other Jewish, Muslim and Christian faith leaders supporting the teaching of inclusion and diversity in schools and standing up against the extreme elements in all three faiths which wish to suppress it.
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