Speakers at this year’s Liberal Judaism Patrons’ Dinner talked of the need to raise funds in order to invest in these much-needed projects.
Speakers included Nicola Nathan, the chair of the Council of Patrons, and guest of honour Robert Voss CBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Hertfordshire.
In an entertaining and wide-ranging speech, Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue member Robert – who is the UK’s only Jewish Lord-Lieutenant – talked of his work with young entrepreneurs and the development of teenagers and young adults.
He then discussed why it is so important for Liberal Judaism to invest in its young people, saying: “The responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the young to ensure that Judaism continues to survive and prosper here in the UK… and no youngsters can be better placed to encompass the diversity and integration that is the future of the UK than members of the Liberal community.”
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships, then talked more about the movement’s plans including opening a technologically advanced education hub at the Montagu Centre, expanding young adult and student resources and seeking to provide reasonable and affordable membership for young people.
Charley concluded: “I am excited and ambitious for the future of Liberal Judaism. Not for my own sake, but because I genuinely believe we have a necessary role to play in the Jewish community and in the world as a while. However I cannot do this alone. I urge you to consider giving to Liberal Judaism. Our work is real and meaningful. To coin a phrase I genuinely believe that our time is now.”
You can read Charley’s full speech by clicking here.
The event was also addressed by Liberal Judaism’s chair Simon Bencher and senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich. Prayers before and after dinner were led by Rabbis Andrew and Aaron Goldstein.
There are many ways to donate to Liberal Judaism and help with the movement’s important work – from one-off contributions to becoming a patron. To find out more, please visit https://www.liberaljudaism.org/what-we-do/fundraising/.
See photos from the evening here.
The conversations featured speakers from varied fields and institutions in Israel and the UK, sharing perspectives and stories about progressive life in Israel today, followed by a Q&A. Whether one attends all the sessions or just one, they found something compelling and interesting to engage with.
All the conversations were attended remotely using Zoom (both by phone or as video), with some also taking place in person.
7th March – Social Justice & Israel: Rabbi Noa Sattath
Rabbi Sattath is the Director of the Israel Religious Action Centre, the social justice arm of the Reform movement in Israel. Prior to her work at IRAC, Noa was the Executive Director of the Jerusalem Open House; the LGBT community centre in Jerusalem. Noa was also the Executive Director of MEET, an NGO that uses technology to create a common language between young Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
You can view the video recording of this conversation here.
14th March – From Community Organiser to Israeli Emissary: Shaliach Oded Gvarim with Rabbi Richard Jacobi
Oded Gvaram is the Jewish Agency Shaliach for the community of Redbridge. Serving as co-founder of Osim Shinui (Making a Change); a national student movement working to improve the status of social workers in Israel, and a board member at 15 Minutes; the public transport consumers association of Israel.
You can view the video recording of this conversation here
You can listen to a recording of the conversation here
Please note there were some technical issues with the video but the sound quality was not affected
21st March – Shared Existence & Progressive Rabbinic Legacy: Rabbi Oded Mazor of Leo Baeck Haifa Educational Centre with Rabbi Aaron Goldstein
Rabbi Mazor is the Rabbi of the Leo Baeck Haifa Elementary school, teaches Jewish Studies in the high school, and is head of the Centre’s UK relations desk. Their guiding principle that all of Israel’s citizens are entitled to equal rights and opportunities. They focus on sharing experiences and loving our neighbours regardless of their religion, mother tongue, race, or cultural background.
You can view the video recording of this conversation here.
The evening was hosted by Richard Verber, the Head of External Affairs at World Jewish Relief.
Many of our ancestors would have kept warm at night with a bottle of vodka while managing inns and taverns in Eastern Europe. This session explored the fascinating but unknown Jewish connection to the alcohol industry.
We also got to taste vodka from Ukraine, Poland and Russia and enjoy some authentic snacks!
A brand new ‘Friends of Liberal Judaism’ scheme was launched at the event. The new fundraising scheme is centred around the theme ‘a home for your Jewish story’, symbolising the central role Liberal Judaism has played in so many people’s lives and how the movement is a home for all who identify as Jewish – welcoming those of all backgrounds, gender, sexuality and traditions.
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships, hailed the concert as showing a shift in how the movement raises money, in order to safeguard its future and help more people find a home for their own Jewish story.
The concert was held at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, with more than 120 people in attendance including Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, chair, and president – Rabbi Danny Rich, Simon Benscher and Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein – Board of Deputies chief executive Gillian Merron and rabbis and officers from Liberal and Reform communities all over the UK.
Pianist David Dolan, a member of Finchley Progressive Synagogue, told the audience how the concert was especially meaningful to him and wife Abigail, a flautist, as they found their Jewish home within Liberal Judaism after moving to the UK from Israel.
Rabbi Danny Rich said: “This event was held on the anniversary of the first meeting of our movement, in 1902 in the home of Isadore Spielmann. I am confident that another 115 years will see us continue to achieve great things. I invite you to come and be a part of it.”
We are proud to announce that we raised over £20,000!
The evening featured a screening of Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed film Munich (2005), to mark the 45th anniversary of the Munich Massacre, followed by a discussion of the film and the events that took place.
Munich depicts Operation Wrath of God, the Israeli revenge operation which took place after the massacre of 11 members of its Olympic team in 1972 by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. The movie was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture.
The day was open to all LJ community members singers, music leaders, instrumentalists, or just those interested in learning some songs.
A variety of workshops took place including:
– traditional LJ choral music
– composition workshop
– showcase of LJY-Netzers songs and chants
– accompanying shul music with keyboard and other instruments
and much more.
It was a great chance to work with a wide range of our own homegrown LJ Music Leaders, and bring new ideas to the table to celebrate our Liberal Jewish Music tradition.
The day also prepared music which was presented at the Day of Celebration on Sunday 11 June – including the winning entry of the LJ Music Composition Competition.