Receiving support from political leaders

1 November 2023 – 17 Heshvan 5784

Rabbis Josh Levy and Charley Baginsky with Yvette Cooper

The leaders of Progressive Judaism have met with Ministers, Mayors and MPs from across the political spectrum, all of whom have shown support for Israel and the Jewish community in the UK.

Movement CEOs Rabbi Charley Baginsky and Rabbi Josh Levy spoke with Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper in the Houses of Parliament (pictured above).

Rabbi Josh Levy and Sadiq Khan

Rabbi Josh Levy and Sadiq Khan

In a wide-ranging discussion on Israel and Gaza, they talked about the impact of the situation on the British Jewish community. They also discussed the statement of principles released yesterday and how it is important to talk about the complexity of the situation and hear the Progressive Jewish voice.

Rabbis Charley and Josh were warmly greeted by London Mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this month, as they spoke about the impact of the terrorist attacks in Israel on our community, our synagogues and our young people – both now and in the weeks and months ahead.

They also then joined other senior members of the Jewish community at a meeting with Michael Gove MP – Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The meeting included discussions around security, reassurance and community cohesion, as well as the diversity of Jewish life and what the future will look like.

Secretary of State Michael Gove

Secretary of State Michael Gove

Rabbi Charley – who spoke at both the London vigil and solidarity rally for Israel – said: “In our meetings with the London Mayor and the Secretary of State, we emphasised the need for us to continue to lead Jewish lives after this moment and continue to build interfaith relationships, especially for our members who are often the only Jew, or one of few Jews, in their workplace, school or university.”

In Manchester, Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen was joined for Shabbat dinner by Lisa Nandy MP and Furqan Naeem, from the Muslim community.

The Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, who also visited a local mosque, spoke about the importance of listening and being together – as well as listening to the concerns of both the Jewish and Muslim communities in the UK at this time.

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