Date: Sunday 11 June 2017
Theme: Is Liberal Judaism Political Judaism?
Keynote Speakers: Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin and Lord Alf Dubs
Details: No topic was off the table at the Liberal Judaism Day of Celebration 2017, as 250 impassioned Jews of all ages debated everything from the impact of the recent UK general election to fighting antisemitism to how to use faith as a force for good. Delegates from 32 communities around England, as well as Edinburgh and Copenhagen, packed into Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) for the event.
LAFTA Winners: Crouch End Chavurah – watch the winning entry here
Music Composition Competition Winner: Phyllis Alden’s composition of the Aleinu – View a performance of the piece and download the music here
Did you know? 2017 saw the first Liberal Judaism Day of Music take place at Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue the day before the Day of Celebration, preceded by a Shabbat Britannia Kabbalat Shabbat service at East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue which also celebrated British Liberal Jewish music.
Quote: Rabbi Rebecca Birk, chair of the Day of Celebration organising committee, said: “Liberal Judaism has always been at the vanguard spiritually and ethically – punching well above our weight in the Jewish community and beyond. The Day of Celebration was truly that, as 250 of us recognised the progress and tradition that animates our prayer, our learning, our music and our just action.”
Photos: You can view a selection of photos from photographers Yakir Zur and Victor Shack as well as others online here.
Date: Sunday 7 June 2015
Keynote Speakers: Rabbi Miri Gold and Anat Hoffman
Details: A succession of speakers at the Israel-themed 2015 Day of Celebration urged British Liberal Jews to get more involved in the country’s politics. Rabbi Miri Gold – the ‘poster girl’ of the fight to recognise non-Orthodox rabbis in Israel – and Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, both told delegates how important the support of the Diaspora was to those fighting for religious pluralism and human rights inside of Israel.
Did you know? This was the first ever Liberal Judaism event to be streamed over the internet, with members and friends watching via a live feed in America, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and all around the UK.
Quote: Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich, said: “This was Liberal Judaism at its best. A sizeable but friendly crowd – representing more than 3/4 of our congregations (30) – came together to discuss an issue, the Israel/Diaspora relationship, that can be divisive and controversial, but which we all agree needs to be examined and thought about. This was a great showcase for the Liberal Jewish family.”
Date: Sunday 9 June 2013
Details: An uplifting day, Liberal Jews celebrated a year of membership growth, rabbinic appointments and success in the fight for equal marriage. The day had four themes – parenting, community, study and art & music – and featured a musical extravaganza, which brought together the Birmingham, Kol Kinor and Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue choirs.
Did you know? The 2013 Day of Celebration saw the launch of the LAFTAs (Liberal Academy for Film and Torah Awards), a competition where Liberal Judaism religion schools are asked to make a short film on a Jewish topic. The inaugural LAFTA went to South Bucks Jewish Community.
Quote: Rabbi Charley Baginsky, chair of the Day of Celebration organising committee, said: “This was an incredible and inspiring day for the future of Liberal Judaism. The huge number of congregations and rabbis involved testifies to the sheer reach of our message and to the massive groundswell of commitment to help our movement grow and grow.”
Date: Sunday 22 May 2011
Keynote Speakers: Jo Coburn and Daniel Finkelstein
Details: Offering something for all, seminars at the 2011 Day of Celebration covered everything from Torah study to salsa dancing and discussions on Jewish identity to a fun inter-generational quiz. A highlight for many was watching former Liberal Judaism chair Lucian J Hudson, and an eager audience, quizzing The Times executive editor Daniel Finkelstein for two hours on his personal Liberal Jewish journey and views on making the case for Israel.
Did you know? The centrepiece of the Day of Celebration was the graduation of a group of new lay leaders, who successfully completed Liberal Judaism’s Ba’alei Tefillah programme – with the training course being brought back after a 23 year absence.
Quote: BBC political correspondent Jo Coburn said: “This Day of Celebration has demonstrated that Liberal Judaism is in good shape. That is due to its strong leadership, the contribution made by many of its members and the recognition that it has to reach out to groups in every part of the UK.”