27 December 2019
The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS) held a multi-faith Chanukah lighting as part of the community’s ‘Festivals For All’ programme.
Individuals and groups representing different local faith communities, schools, charities and organisations attended – all lighting one of eight candles.
The keynote speaker was Imam Asif Hafiz OBE, Islamic Religious Adviser to the Chief of Defence Staff at the UK Ministry of Defence – who spoke warmly of the bonds between Muslim and Jewish communities. He was joined by members of the British Armed Forces from all faiths and none.
The synagogue’s local MP Karen Buck, Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor Ruth Bush and Mitzvah Day interfaith advisor Rabbi Jeff Berger also took part in the event.
Guests were welcomed to the LJS by its senior rabbi, Rabbi Alexandra Wright, before a programme of beautiful Chanukah music and song was led by Rabbis Elana Dellal and Igor Zinkov. Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich, gave the closing remarks.
Danny said: “What better way to welcome the upcoming festival of Chanukah than in Liberal Judaism’s founding synagogue, surrounded by so many friends from all faiths and none. Imam Asif Hafiz was an inspiring speaker and Alexandra and her team created a beautiful service that had meaning for everyone no matter what their religion.”
After a special Chanukah tea including doughnuts and latkes, LJS members Bob and Ann Kirk gave their guests a tour of the synagogue. A particularly poignant moment came when they showed the LJS’s Holocaust Memorial – a three-ton Kilkenny limestone – and described their own experiences fleeing the Nazis to come to Britain as Kindertransport children.
We will be publishing Chanukah photos from around our communities in the next issue of lj today. Please send yours (along with 40 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you’re able.
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