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March/April 2017

Liberal Judaism is a constituent of the

World Union for Progressive Judaism


Refugee plan goes global Rabbi Lionel Blue

(1930 - 2016)
PROJECT SLLS chair Alice Alphandary (pictured
by South left) wrote a powerful opinion piece for
London the euronews website, saying: “Our
Liberal members have parents and grandparents
Synagogue who themselves were refugees. This
(SLLS) to turn motivates so many of the project team,
part of the myself included, as my own father was a
shul into a refugee from Egypt in the 1950s.
flat to house “One project team member has a
a refugee grandfather who was a Kindertransport
family has won child, put up by Christians in a church in
attention and Durham. Another team member has a
support across the UK, Europe and Israel. grandmother who fled Nazi Germany in
The community is working hard to raise the 1930s thanks to a Birmingham couple
£50,000 in order to refurbish a disused who employed her as a housekeeper. She
caretaker’s flat, which will then house a was later able to arrange safe passage
family from Syria. The project is called for her brother, who was just a child, and
Abraham’s Tent, recalling the Midrash: then her parents. LIBERAL JUDAISM is remembering
“Abraham always kept all four sides of his “There is a strong sense among us that Rabbi Lionel Blue OBE, a pioneering
tent open, for guests to easily enter.” if Britain had not provided sanctuary to rabbi, teacher and media star.
After The Observer ran a story on our families, we would not be alive today. Lionel was a mentor to so many,
the plan, SLLS was also featured by And we are now determined to show that both through his role lecturing at Leo
publications including The Evening welcome to others.” Baeck College and his own example.
Standard, Haaretz, The Times of Israel, As the first British rabbi publicly
The Independent and Huffington Post, as • To donate to this important project, to come out as gay, in 1980, Lionel
well as papers in Germany and France. please visit cafdonate.cafonline.org/5968 paved the way for many others.
Rabbi Charley Baginsky said:
“Lionel’s courage and pioneering
spirit have created a more equal
Judaism, and a more equal world.”

Picture by Ajamu of fineartphotography

• WE APOLOGISE that some communities

will be receiving this edition of lj today
around two weeks later than planned.
This is due to a burst water pipe at
Liberal Judaism’s head office, which
ruined many copies and meant a reprint
LIBERAL JUDAISM’S senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich (pictured second from was required. We hope you are still able
right), helped to rededicate a plaque commemorating the Kindertransport in the to enjoy the news and views inside.
Houses of Parliament. Danny joined Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Archbishop of The office will remain closed until
Canterbury Justin Welby, the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, Pesach. Staff are working from home
Lord (Alf) Dubs and Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, the senior rabbi of Masorti and can be contacted via email or mobile.
Judaism, at the event, which took place on Holocaust Memorial Day. For general enquiries, email montagu@
liberaljudaism.org or call 07375 817 190.
Page 2 LJ Today Day of Celebration March/April 2017

Lord Dubs to speak at Day of Celebration

Get the latest news and information on Liberal Judaism’s biggest event of 2017
Keynote speakers But what is it like to be at an LJY- Celebrating Liberal Jewish Music
Netzer event? Come on the Day of
Liberal Judaism is delighted to announce Celebration and get the chance to a be For those who are looking to make a
that Lord (Alf) Dubs and Susie Orbach a participant for a day, in a camp-style weekend of it, tickets are now available
will be the keynote speakers at this year’s session, run by our youth leaders. for the first Liberal Jewish Music
Day of Celebration - held at Northwood Celebration Day, taking place on Saturday
& Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) on Art exhibition June 10 at Northwood & Pinner Liberal
Sunday June 11 from 9:30 to 16:30. Synagogue and costing £20 for adults and
Lord Dubs, a Kindertransport child, It is a well-known adage that Jews are £10 for children. Tickets can be bought
has done an incredible job campaigning ‘People of the Book’. It turns out that from www.tinyurl.com/ljmusic
for the rights of child refugees. With some of us are not too shabby as people The programme includes an
his Dubs Amendment – to allow 3,000 of the canvas – or whatever other media opportunity to learn and perform the
unaccompanied children into the we choose to work with – either. There winning entries from the Liberal Judaism
UK – recently being reversed by the are so many great works exploring our Music Composition Competition, a song-
Government his, and our, fight is now traditions, history and culture, and our writing skills session with Dean Staker,
more vital than ever. Lord Dubs will personal Jewish identity. classic and creative choir workshops,
speak about the campaign and how it was That’s why we now invite you to submit sharing ideas and resources and more.
inspired by his own experiences. your work, based on the event’s theme We will also be preparing pieces to
Susie Orbach is a psychotherapist, or even just being part of the Liberal perform at the Day of Celebration, the
writer and co-founder of The Women’s Judaism family, which we will then next day. If you are travelling from outside
Therapy Centre. She is the author of exhibit in the NPLS Etz Chayim Gallery London, accommodation can be arranged
numerous books including Fat is a throughout the Day of Celebration. with NPLS members. Please contact Ruth
Feminist Issue, her first book, which has This exhibition space will be dedicated Colin on music@npls.org.uk for details.
been continuously in print since 1978. Her to works by members of all Liberal
most recent book In Therapy is based on Judaism communities and, depending on A final word
her acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series. size, it should be possible to hang around
25 pieces. The extract below, from the Liberal
Theme We will also be collecting photos Judaism Affirmation 23, indicates that,
and videos from all our communities without a doubt, Liberal Judaism is
The theme for this year’s Day of to highlight the range and depth of our political Judaism. It is however up to
Celebration – ‘Is Liberal Judaism Political activities and our tradition of inclusivity. each one of us to decide on our level
Judaism?’ – will inspire many discussions Do also share them with us. of engagement. We would like you to
throughout the event, and beyond. For more details, please contact Tom consider the following:
The great parliamentarian Edmund on montagu@liberaljudaism.org “As Liberal Jews we constantly
Burke famously said: “The only thing question. We have a sense of purpose and
necessary for the triumph of evil is for Tickets are engaged in community life and social
good men to do nothing.” We Liberal action… Walking in the footsteps of the
Jews are particularly concerned with the Tickets for the Liberal Judaism Day of Prophets we can be constructive irritants
triumph of good over evil, adding to a Celebration cost £35 for adults and £15 to the mainstream… We engage with
social conscience and common humanity, for students and children. A family ticket society as we find it and lead from the
a particular theology that helps us define (for two adults and up to three children) front… We have been an active participant
a purpose for our lives. can be purchased for £70. Lunch is in all of the key intellectual, political and
It is difficult to separate politics from provided and there are travel subsidies religious discussions of British Jewry
virtually every aspect of society. Our Day available for those outside London. over the last 100 years.”
of Celebration will explore, amongst Tickets can be purchased now from Whether you agree, disagree or don’t
much more, how Liberal Judaism www.doc2017.eventbrite.co.uk know how you feel, we encourage you to
intersects with the politics of care and join us to listen, learn and participate.
the politics of sport; how politics is More than just a day
part of our identity as an individual and
community. There will be those who will This year we will be hosting a whole ENTRIES for the Liberal Judaism
contend that politics is fun, and others weekend of celebration, for those who Music Composition Competition
who question whether politics and desire it. Everyone is invited to an close on May 11. Liberal Judaism
religion should mix at all. And there’s a Erev Shabbat at Finchley Progressive officer Graham Carpenter said:
question we will be posing throughout - is Synagogue, showcasing Shir Brittania, “The judges are looking for music
merely being Jewish a political act? while a special event exploring and that really captures our sense of
sharing Liberal Jewish music will take a holy community, that drives our
Youth place on Saturday at NPLS. spirituality, and elevates us to the
As reported in the last lj today, next level at the forefront of the
LJY-Netzer has, in various incarnations, multimedia musical sci-fi production dynamic, cutting edge of Judaism.”
been running youth events for the last 70 2067 - Hard New World will be performed For details, and to enter, email
years, and counts among its alumni many at 7pm on Saturday and Sunday nights in g.carpenter@liberaljudaism.org
of the voices of today’s Liberal movement. the Methodist Church next door to NPLS.
March/April 2017 News LJ Today Page 3

70 years of Liberal Jewish youth

Liberal Judaism youth at camp in 2016 (left) and conference in 1956 (above right), and Rabbi Lionel Blue at a World Union youth event in 1957

ON January 19, 1947 a meeting was held BBC presenter Jo Coburn: “I joined when like-minded young people. It was very
that would establish a national Liberal I was 12 years old and it was a formative rewarding to see the growth of an exciting
Jewish youth movement. Although it part of my growing up. The religious youth movement and eventually seeing
has gone through many variations and side of all the youth activities was more many of my contemporaries fulfil their
names, the movement now known as of a backdrop to a vibrant social and promise by becoming the leaders of
LJY-Netzer has had a profound influence cultural scene. I cut my teeth debating congregations and of Liberal Judaism.”
on thousands of lives. Here, four Liberal politics, religion, social affairs and other
Jewish leaders give their reflections: issues with my peers on weekends away, Current LJY-Netzer movement worker
summer camps and educational trips to Hannah Stephenson: “Our members and
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Israel. I learnt how to run conferences, volunteers constantly inspire me to make
Judaism’s director of strategy and put together charitable campaigns and the change I want to see in the movement
partnerships: “So much of where I am become a reasonable public speaker… and the world. As a movement, for the
today began with what was then called preparing me well for later life. I made last 70 years, we have been unafraid to
ULPSNYC Netzer. It was my first taste friends for life, had many memorable make bold choices and live a life through
of what it meant to be Jewish 24/7. It experiences and learnt the importance of the lens of our Liberal Jewish values.
gave me friends, rabbis and teachers. building a community. Most of all, I had a We have also played a key role in the
Dynamic leaders taught me about Jewish bloody great time.” global Progressive youth movement. We
philosophy, theology and practice in are now going to spend 2017 celebrating
ways which were accessible, relevant Walter Woyda, the first chair of the first this wonderful anniversary – with alumni
and exciting and made me want to know Liberal youth movement, writing in events and programmes at our camps.”
more. But even more than all of that it 1997: “What effect did it have on me? It
made me understand why I was a Liberal certainly helped to give me confidence • Thanks to Bryan Diamond and Rosita
Jew and committed me to wanting to be in public, to gain leadership experience Rosenberg for their help securing archive
part of an inspiring movement.” and to meet and work with many fine, material and photos for this article.

Liberal Jew to Undiscovered history at the LJS

chair Limmud A VIRTUALLY unseen archive from 1914-
1918, belonging to The Liberal Jewish
Eventually, having been restored, the
volumes were returned to secure boxes
LIBERAL JUDAISM’S Abigail Jacobi will Synagogue (LJS), has been brought into where they have remained until now.
be co-chair of Limmud Conference 2017. public view for the first time in a century. The books are now part of an archive
Working alongside Anna Lawton, Abigail It is running on the The Heritage which, back in 2013, the National Archive
will be responsible for the overall event Lottery Fund’s London Jews in the First at Kew deemed “a crucial source for the
through the management of the team World War: We Were There Too project history of modern Judaism.”
who make it happen. website at www.jewsfww.london The LJS’s Rabbi Alexandra Wright,
Abigail said: “Anna and I are really In the late 1980s, former honorary commented: “Hostilities, whether
excited to be collaborating again after co- archivist at the LJS, Sharon Lewison, between warring gangs, adults or
chairing the families team in 2015. Having discovered two bound manuscripts of countries, inevitably impact on children.
both grown up attending Limmud events, stories, essays, poetry and drawings These extraordinary volumes reveal
our shared vision is strongly influenced compiled by young people during 1915/6. the views and thoughts of young LJS
by the Limmud values and our passion for After the war, the books were lost for Londoners a century ago. We should
the organisation.” decades until she found them. listen to their voices.”
Page 4 LJ Today Communities March/April 2017

Compassion in times of horror Bernie’s special

Rabbi Pete Tobias on his community’s Kabbalat Torah programme
second barmitzvah
Picture by John Bernard

THE OLDEST male member of Tikvah

Chadasha (Shenfield, Brentwood &
Districts Synagogue) celebrated his
second barmitzvah… with slightly more
time to prepare than for his first.
Eighty-three year-old Bernie Jackson
(pictured) was evacuated during the war,
and upon returning home, at age 12, was
thrust into learning his barmitzvah piece
– having never even been to cheder.
Seventy years later, he celebrated again,
surrounded by family, friends and his
fellow congregants.
Tikvah Chadasha’s Jan Feldman
said: “Bernie’s first barmitzvah was no
TRADITIONALLY a Kabbalat Torah The service, especially designed for easy feat, but we are told he rose to the
ceremony would take place on the this group of teenage girls, focused on challenge. This time around, as expected,
festival of Shavuot, since this was the the lives of two other young girls – whose a somewhat older Bernie led the service
occasion when the Israelites made their lives began almost a century ago. beautifully, again watched over by
commitment to God and the Torah at Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt-am community leader and second cousin
Mount Sinai. Main, Germany in 1929; Lisa Jura was Natasha, and accompanied by his wife
In our times, however, the pressures of born five years before her in Vienna, Lola and their family.”
school exams have made this unsuitable Austria’s capital. These two talented girls
and, here at The Liberal Synagogue – one a musician, one a writer – both
Elstree (TLSE), we made the decision experienced Nazi rule in the countries Faiths unite to
help the homeless
to hold it on the Shabbat closest to in which they made their homes. One
National Holocaust Memorial Day and the escaped to safety in England and lived
liberation of Auschwitz. until 1997; the other perished just weeks
This timing dictates the focus of the before World War Two ended. LEICESTER PROGRESSIVE JEWISH
Kabbalat Torah course, which looks at The service told their stories. Some of CONGREGATION has teamed up with
aspects of the Holocaust, but always the elements were read aloud by the girls six other faiths in the area for a unique
concentrates on an element of this of the Kabbalat Torah group; others left project to help the city’s homeless.
horrific time that demonstrates the for congregants to read in silence. The A night shelter – providing bed, board
potential for human compassion. accompanying music was Grieg’s Piano and support for 10 homeless men – will
In the months leading up to the Concerto, one of Lisa’s favourite pieces. rotate between the synagogue, Anglican
Kabbalat Torah service, Amber-Jade, I would like to thank Mike Walton, who and Catholic churches, a Muslim
Gabby, Lottie, Alice, Chloe, Molly and each year takes on an ever greater role community centre and a Hindu temple.
I (pictured above) enjoyed a variety in teaching the course, and Deborah Quakers and Sikhs will provide meals and
of discussions on the Holocaust and Gabbay, who bravely endured the additional support. It is the first multi-
other aspects of Judaism, and they also ridiculous rigours of the Berlin trip. faith venture of its kind in the UK.
participated in the latest edition of the I know that everyone involved, and in More than 200 people of all faiths, and
‘Almost Legendary KT trip to Berlin’. We attendance, truly got something out of none, have volunteered to support the
also ate lots of crisps and biscuits. this course and this service. project – which is managed by One Roof.

THIRTY FIVE Kabbalat Torah NPLS’s Rabbi Aaron Goldstein

participants from Birmingham, said: “Highlights – apart from the
Finchley, Northwood and Woodford inspirational prayer services, virtual
shared a Shabbaton at Northwood & Israel Tour and lack of sleep – were
Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS), with the reintroduction of ‘cool frisbee’ and
superb support from Liberal Judaism’s volleyball into the LJY-Netzer canon.
youth movement LJY-Netzer. Next year in Nottingham!”
March/April 2017 Communities LJ Today Page 5

Nottingham welcomes Austerlitz scroll after 50 years

THE CONGREGATION at Nottingham The community spent decades visiting rude shock! However, through our links
Liberal Synagogue (NLS) have welcomed Austerlitz and forging links with the with another ‘Austerlitz community’ in
a Torah scroll from Austerlitz, in the town’s people. Ruth Matiovska, the one the United States, we discovered that
Czech Republic, finally putting an end to a remaining Jewish resident, even became there was another scroll of undoubted
50-year mix up. an honorary member of NLS. provenance. A big thank you is due to the
The community was founded in 1965 However, one year ago, the community Memorial Scrolls Trust, whose strenuous
as Nottingham Progressive Jewish discovered that their Czech scroll was efforts led to the retrieval of this second
Congregation and immediately applied actually number 887; not from Austerlitz, scroll, from Leeds University, and its
for, and received, a Torah from the but the small Moravian town of Kamenice placing in our safekeeping.”
Westminster Synagogue Czech Memorial nad Lipou, about 80km to the west. The community are planning to visit
Scrolls Trust, on permanent loan. Neil Pike, a member of the NLS both Austerlitz and Kamenice nad Lipou
They were given scroll number 886 Austerlitz group, said: “It emerged that in the summer of 2018.
– of the 1,564 that survived the Nazis – back in 1964, two scrolls were inscribed Neil added: “We will ensure that the
which was believed to have originated in with the same number, 886, and the memory of those who once used these
Austerlitz, now known as Slavkov. number 887 was omitted. This came as a scrolls will always be honoured.”

Rabbi Anna painted for Essex underway

cathedral exhibition

THE SHOFAR was sounded as the new

community at East London & Essex
Liberal Synagogue (EL&ELS) held
inaugural Shabbat services in their two
homes. A Friday evening service was
held at the former Bet Tikvah Synagogue,
followed by Saturday morning prayers at
the former Woodford Liberal Synagogue.
A PAINTING of Gloucestershire Liberal Artist Russell Haines (pictured with Both services were jointly led by
Jewish Community’s Rabbi Anna Gerrard Anna and her picture) spent 18 months Rabbis David Hulbert and Richard Jacobi,
hung in Gloucester Cathedral throughout producing 37 large portraits for the pictured here with EL&ELS co-chairs Bob
January and February, as part of an exhibition, each of which portrays an Kamall and Shirley Forbes and Liberal
exhibition entitled ‘Faith’. individual from a different faith. Judaism chair Simon Benscher.
Page 6 LJ Today Communities March/April 2017

Do you need a grant? Streaming


THE Northwood & Pinner Liberal

The ark in Edinburgh and keyboard in Southgate were made possible thanks to the NLPS Trust Synagogue (NPLS) streaming service has
now surpassed 1,000 viewers, since it
IS YOUR community or organisation Former Sukkat Shalom chair Prof started just over a year ago.
looking for funding? If the funds you need Gillian Raab said: “It’s made such a All Shabbat services are streamed,
will help support ‘the advancement of difference to have a ‘proper’ ark, and our as well as festival services held in
Progressive Judaism’, then the NLPS thanks go to the NLPS Trust and all those the sanctuary and the monthly Tots’
Trust may be able to help. who made it possible.” Shabbat. NPLS streaming group leader
The Trust was established in 2004, At Southgate, the grant enabled the Richard Conradi says the facility has
following the closure of the North London synagogue to replace its worn-out organ. been a great success, pointing to an
Progressive Synagogue. The synagogue’s The community’s Jane Greenfield says: “I average ‘attendance’ of 10 connections
financial assets were transferred to applied to the NLPS Trust, and I was so each Shabbat and a recent record of 35.
the Trust, which invested the capital excited when I got the letter back saying The most popular services are bar and
and uses the income to award grants to they would pay for an electronic keyboard. batmitzvahs, where family and friends
communities or organisations in need. We found one that does everything an overseas are able to watch.
Grants can be provided for items or organ can do and more. We can even do Richard adds that these connections
projects large or small, and the average Oseh Shalom to a samba now!” – one or more people watching from a
grant size is £3,500. The Trust regards it Whether you represent an established smart device such as a smart TV, phone
as a strength if you have raised, or will be or emerging Liberal Jewish community, or tablet – have come from the UK, USA,
able to raise, part of the funds you seek you can apply to the NLPS Trust and it Russia, Australia, Israel, France and
from within your own organisation or is very easy to do. You just download a some 20 other countries.
from other sources. form from www.nlpstrust.org.uk – then Some of the feedback the community
Two good examples of congregations complete it and send it back with the has received includes:
recently benefiting from Trust grants latest published/audited accounts of your
come from Sukkat Shalom – the community or organisation. • “I’ve just followed the Kristallnacht
Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community – Phil Stone, chair of the NLPS Trust, service, which is the first time I’ve been
and Southgate Progressive Synagogue. told lj today: “We have about £60,000 able to ‘attend’ synagogue for years.
Sukkat Shalom had been ‘getting by’, to donate in grants each year. We It’s fantastic watching from my home in
placing its Torah scroll on a table and meet every six months to make grant Germany and, given the topic, particularly
covering it with a tallit – but it wanted to decisions. Whether or not you’ve applied poignant to view it with my young family.”
house the scroll properly. The NLPS Trust to the Trust before, we are keen to hear
grant contributed to a new portable ark, from you and hopefully help.” • “We streamed the Friday night service
designed by community members Lauren To be considered for a grant at the next and watched it together as a family in
Fox and Katy Bromberg, constructed from NLPS Trust meeting, which takes place France. We were touched that the rabbi
local wood by Scottish craftsmen and in April, you must apply before March 24. mentioned our dad.”
completed with doors made from laser- Full information about the Trust’s funding
cut aluminium. The inscription and the policy and how to apply can be found at • “As I was unwell this morning, we
ark curtain reflect the tree of life. www.nlpstrust.org.uk decided to watch the live stream. This
way we would not miss our prayer
service. The streaming was absolutely
perfect and the prayers most enjoyable.”
THE FIFTIETH anniversary year of
Bedfordshire Progressive Synagogue NPLS has also just started a forum for
began with Rabbi Danny Rich, Liberal all synagogues streaming, or thinking
Judaism’s senior rabbi, presenting Julie of streaming, their services in the UK
Mitchell-Middleton with her conversion so they can learn from each other,
certificate and welcoming her in to the benchmark and adopt best practice.
“Jewish family”. We will have lots more For further information please contact
on the Bedfordshire anniversary year in Richard at streaming@npls.org.uk or, to
upcoming issues of lj today. watch a NPLS service, visit their website
www.npls.org.uk and follow the links.
March/April 2017 Communities LJ Today Page 7

Interfaith guests help celebrate Asylum win is

25 years of Peterborough Liberal ‘Liberal Jewish
values in action’
A JEWISH Iraqi family has been granted
the right to remain in the UK by the Home
Office, after their cause was taken up by
York Liberal Jewish Community (YLJC).
Sinan and Dena Nuuman, along with
daughters Yara, seven, and Liza, 19
months, have been granted asylum in the
country for the next five years. The family
converted to Judaism after becoming
part of YLJC in June 2014. They are
regulars at services, playing a full role in
Rabbi Danny Rich, Jaspal Singh, Di Nicholas and Zahid Akbar enjoy an anniversary kiddush
synagogue life. Liza’s baby blessing was
one of the community’s first.
GUESTS from all of the region’s faith They were joined by community YLJC, along with York University JSoc,
groups helped Peterborough Liberal members, family and friends, Liberal set up a crowd funding website to help
Jewish Community (PLJC) celebrate its Judaism chair Simon Benscher, officer the family after they applied for asylum,
25th anniversary. Ruth Seager and members of Liberal and were made homeless, last August. It
Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi communities in Leicester, Norwich, York, raised £5,000 in one month.
Danny Rich, led a specially tailored Essex and London. Chair Ben Rich said: “We are all
service – explaining the origin and PLJC’s communications officer Di absolutely delighted that Sinan, Dena
significance of the various aspects of Nicholas said: “As a small community, and their girls have been granted leave to
Shabbat. It was followed by a kiddush this Shabbat service was a wonderful remain in the UK. This is wonderful news.
with a range of traditional Jewish foods. opportunity for us to build on our Now Sinan and Dena will be able to work
Invited guests from local civic commitment to interfaith partnerships and resume their normal lives.
and faith organisations included in the city, and strengthen our links with “On a personal level it has been
Nav Malik, assistant chief constable other Liberal Judaism congregations. amazing to see the whole community
of Cambridgeshire, Jawaid Khan, “Our guests had a great time at what coming together to support them in their
Peterborough City Council’s community was, for many, their first ever Jewish hour of need. This has been a spectacular
cohesion manager, and friends from the service. They made the most of the example of Liberal Jewish values in
Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christian faiths opportunity to learn something new and action, making a real difference to
and PLJC venue hosts, the Quakers. enjoy enquiring conversations. people’s lives. It makes me so proud.”

Holocaust Memorial Day in pictures


worked with Stevenage Borough Council
and Hertfordshire County Libraries to
commemorate Holocaust Memorial
YORK LIBERAL JEWISH COMMUNITY’S Day. The principal event (pictured) TIKVAH CHADASHA (Shenfield) joined
Czech Memorial Scroll was on public was a Service of Remembrance held with Christian Friends of Israel to hold
display in the Chapter House at York in Stevenage Council Chamber, which a Service of Commemoration. Several
Minster, as members of all faiths in the was opened by the Mayor of Stevenage, of the community’s children came
city commemorated the Holocaust in Cllr John Lloyd. The keynote speaker together to lay six stones, in memory
prayer, remembrance and by lighting was Robert Voss DL, who told the of the six million Jews who perished.
candles. Founder member Ros Clayton, harrowing story of his parents’ escape Twelve year old Nathan Murphy did one
pictured here with the scroll, gave a from Germany and the murder of family of the readings, to an audience in excess
moving address at the event. members by the Nazis. of 200 people (pictured).
Page 8 LJ Today Comment March/April 2017

A personal view on Liberal kashrut

On an aeroplane, if the vegetarian other factors are involved in the debate:
Rabbi Dr Andrew breakfast runs out, I am happy to discard over-population, over-eating, wastage,
Goldstein on his the slice of bacon and just eat the rubbery industrialisation of the food chain etc.
‘common sense’ egg and tepid tomato. It’s the symbolism I try to keep an open mind but I will
of it, not the possible contamination. admit to a weakness: I like the occasional
way of keeping I find it amusing, when at ‘strictly steak or lamb chop.
kosher and the kosher’ banquets, they serve cod dyed I do not think it liberal or ‘Liberal’ to
rules he follows pink to replicate shrimp or, after a meat force others not to eat meat by banning
meal, use chemical goo that looks like it from Liberal Jewish community
cream on the dessert. It is cheating. I find functions. So long as a vegetarian option
I HAVE ‘kept kosher’ all my life, but it a joke to see ‘McDonalds’ Big Macs’ in is always offered, I feel that true liberals
a sort of Liberal kashrut. When my Israel on Pesach in a strictly Pesachdik should be able to cope with other people’s
grandmother was alive, I think my mother bun. For me, Pesach eating is about doing choices. And though I have known many
bought kosher meat, but that certainly something different for a week – not sincere Liberal Jews, regular synagogue
stopped after she died when I was six. trying to replicate everyday menus. goers and great humanitarians, who
Since that time, my family kept what Regarding the slaughter of animals, have eaten pig all their lives, I hope they
has been called ‘Biblical kashrut’. We I think that the kosher method of realise that eating pork with other Jews
never had any meat from a biblically slaughter, if done correctly, is more who find it abhorrent can give offence. It’s
forbidden animal in the house… no pig, humane than the method requiring all a matter of balance and consideration
rabbit or shrimp. But we did eat beef pre-stunning. But a far more important for the other.
or chicken, and we did follow it with consideration is the way the animals are And why do I keep my ‘Biblical
desserts made from milk. allowed to live. kashrut’? I keep it not because I believe
At Pesach, we had no leaven in our Many Liberal Jews keep a vegetarian God will punish me if I have a bacon
meals, but didn’t fall for the marketing or vegan diet. It is popular with our youth sandwich, but because I see it as a
trap of buying salt or butter or jam movement and members of my own discipline and each time I deliberately
‘Kosher L’Pesach’. Of course, we had family. I myself eat less and less meat, refuse the ‘treif’ I remind myself of
‘Palwins’ for Kiddush on Shabbat, but though I will be honest and say this is on my Jewish identity; and it is an act of
otherwise the concept of ‘kosher wine’ I health grounds rather than for any moral solidarity with the traditions of my people.
find insulting. or religious purpose. Maybe not a logical argument, but then
These were the rules in or out of the It is true that we live at a time of debate is any kind of kashrut logical for a non-
house. And I think I have kept to them about sustainability of the environment fundamentalist Jew?
ever since. There was, and is, I believe, and many would claim that a purely
a common sense about my kashrut vegetarian diet is the only way forward. • Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein is president
observance. But I am not totally convinced and many of Liberal Judaism

End of Dubs How should we react to Trump?

Amendment Rabbi Charley Baginsky on the challenges we face
is shameful
AS YOU may expect from a London- As my colleague Rabbi Alexandra
based Liberal rabbi, I live in a sheltered Wright so wisely said recently: “Now is
community – on and offline – where most not the time to abandon our liberalism,
people seem to have voted neither for nor our Judaism.”
By Rabbi Danny Rich Brexit nor for Donald Trump. It’s a world While we honour the outcome of the
Senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism of liberal, and Liberal Jewish, values. election, we must once again stand by our
So when we awoke to the news that values to fight bigotry, campaign for the
LESS than a year ago, the Dubs someone who shares none of those rights of minorities and not stand silently
Amendment offered the promise of hope values had become president of the USA by words and actions driven by hate.
to as many as 3,000 refugee children. - shock, upset and distress overflowed on But most of all, we must model ways of
This figure was already far fewer than the my social media platforms, interspersed talking to each other from a place of care
estimated 95,000 children seeking refuge with joy from the few Trump supporters. and love, a place that embraces diversity
from the horrors of war and poverty. We But this was an election where millions and differing opinions and a place that
have now seen that hope ripped away. of voters turned out. As with Brexit, we believes this world can be full of hope
Little more than a tenth of the proposed can see that large swathes of people and unity.
number have been given refuge in the UK. rejected the political establishment and I was brought up with the Jewish value
It amounts to around 350 children. economic system. of engaging in discussion to understand
This is not only a terrible tragedy, but The question for many of us is what and be understood. This is the world I
it is a betrayal of the British sense of next? Trump was democratically elected. want for my children, one where we offer
justice, and Jewish values. This is a Whatever our feelings, the time has come solutions to improve the lives of all and
shameful decision by the Government. to rebuild a divided and fractured world. not one that creates division and fear.
March/April 2017 News LJ Today Page 9

Montagu Centre launches RUN returns

Monday morning services THE critically
acclaimed show
RUN, by Liberal
Laughton, is set
to return to the
stage in March
2017 after a
sell-out stint at
last year’s Vault
RUN opens at JW3 – the Jewish
community centre on Finchley Road – on
LIBERAL JUDAISM is hosting Monday Danny said: “This will give members, March 8 as part of the GayW3 Festival.
morning Torah services and Tuesday and indeed anyone who wants to pray in It can then be seen at the Marlborough
lunchtime study sessions for the first an inclusive and engaging environment, Theatre in Brighton from March 12-15,
time. They are open to all, taking place in the chance to enjoy a full egalitarian before returning to the capital from
West Central Liberal Synagogue, which Torah service before they start their day.” March 20 for a two week stint at the
is on the lower floor of Liberal Judaism’s Mishnah study sessions will take place Bunker Theatre in London Bridge.
head office – The Montagu Centre, 21 at lunchtime on the third Tuesday of each Filled with school riots, first loves,
Maple Street, London, W1T 4BE. month. The group will study Mishnah beached whales, cinema, space and
The Monday morning Torah service Sanhedrin, led by Rabbis Danny Rich sex, RUN tells the story of Yonni (Tom
(pictured) starts at 7.45am and includes and Neil Janes, executive director of the Ross-Williams), a gay Orthodox Jewish
personal prayer and reflection, as well as Lyons Learning Project and a lecturer teenager, who sneaks out on Shabbat and
the traditional Liberal Judaism liturgy. at Leo Baeck College. Neil is part of the causes a world of trouble.
Led by Rabbi Danny Rich, Liberal rabbinic team at West London Synagogue. RUN is being brought to the stage by
Judaism’s senior rabbi, upcoming If you would like more information, or up-and-coming independent production
services will take place on March 20, to confirm your attendance, please email company iN BLOOM. Due to the quick
April 24, May 22, June 19 and July 17. Daisy on d.bogod@liberaljudaism.org turnaround of the project, the team are
fundraising to cover production costs. As
such they are running a crowdfunding
campaign on new platform PHUNDEE

Liberal duo honoured with exciting rewards including bespoke

art work, exclusive special edition play
texts, meteorites and stars from space
and even acres of land on the planet
Venus. All come beautifully packaged
with specially selected passages from
the play. To find out more, search RUN at

Any Questions
FIVE of the country’s leading Progressive
rabbis – representing Liberal, Reform
and Masorti Judaism – took part in a
special panel debate to mark the 60th
anniversary of Leo Baeck College (LBC).
JOYCE ROTHSCHILD, of Birmingham Gerald, a Holocaust survivor, travels Liberal Judaism was represented by
Progressive Synagogue, and Southgate around the country speaking to schools Rabbi Richard Jacobi, who was joined by
Progressive Synagogue’s Gerald Granston and youth clubs about being a young LBC principal Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-
were awarded British Empire Medals in child in Nazi Germany and the state Harris, Rabbi Michael Foulds OBE and
the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. persecution he suffered. Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE. The
Joyce received the honour as a result of Gerald said: “British schools have very panel was chaired by Rabbi Larry Becker.
her annual quiz, which has been running little knowledge of what life was like for The discussion lived up to its title of
for 20 years and has raised more than Jews from 1933 to 1945. I emphasise ‘Any Questions’ with topics including
£120,000 in the fight against cancer. that the students listening to me are the LBC’s remarkable history and fundraising
She said: “I am very honoured, but feel future of our country and how essential it needs, Jewish schools, interfaith work
my many loyal helpers also deserve a is for them to stand up and fight prejudice and the relationship between Progressive
medal for making this possible.” wherever it raises its head.” and Orthodox Judaism.
Page 10 LJ Today Obituaries March/April 2017

Remembering David Jacobi Joan Finkel

David then began work for British
Gas and, when they relocated to By Rabbi Alan Mann
Loughborough, became involved
in Leicester Progressive Jewish HOW do
Congregation, where he led services. you sum up
David began to attend Limmud, sharing the life and
his passion for Israeli song and poetry. achievements
His sessions were popular and he was of Joan
invited to day Limmuds around the UK. Finkel in a
David was also involved in the European few hundred
Union for Progressive Judaism and words? You
supported communities in the Czech can’t.
DAVID JACOBI, who died in December Republic and Hungary. Everywhere he Near the
2016 at the age of 54, after a long went, David made friends. He had a gift entrance to the Dublin Progressive
illness, was active in Liberal Judaism for friendship, an ease with people and an Jewish Congregation (DPJC) building
as a lay service leader and a teacher in infectious enthusiasm. there is a photograph of the founding
synagogues and, especially, at Limmud. David’s other great passion was his members of the DPJC taken in 1947;
A chemical engineer by profession, he cello. He played in semi-professional at the front is the figure of the 14
was a gifted amateur cellist and a lover orchestras and also quartets, duos year old Joan Morris, later Finkel.
of Israeli poetry and song. and trios and had a wide knowledge of She was in at the beginning.
David was the son of Rabbi Harry classical music. He had many interests, From then, until health prevented
and Rose Jacobi and, like his sister and from film to railways to politics. her in the last few years, Joan sang
brother, Margaret and Richard, grew up David ended his working life at the in the choir, took services and taught
as a deeply committed Liberal Jew. As a Environment Agency, as a pollution the children. There was no position
student, he was active in what was then inspector. When he was 47, he was in the synagogue which she did not
PJS (Progressive Jewish Students) and diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, fill, except, perhaps, treasurer, which
made life-long friends. He organised a form of dementia that affects language was held for many years by her
weekends and formed a small Jewish early on. He made his last presentation husband John.
Society at Bath University. He was also a at Limmud soon afterwards, about She was president, secretary and
much-loved and enthusiastic supervisor environmental protection in Israel. He chair of rites and practices. For many
at Kadimah Holiday School, then run by continued to play the cello when he could years she ran the burial scheme.
Rabbi Dr Andrew and Sharon Goldstein. no longer communicate in other ways. Joan represented Dublin at Liberal
As part of his degree in chemical David will be greatly missed by his Judaism conferences, even when
engineering, David spent a year in Haifa father Harry, sister Margaret and brother most members did not know what
and there became fluent in Hebrew and Richard, together with their partners the national movement was all about.
developed his life-long interest in Israel. David and Lyn, and by his nephews and Hers was the name and face of
After his degree, he completed a PhD nieces, to whom he was a loving and fun Liberal Judaism in Ireland.
about the disposal of nuclear waste. uncle, as well as his many friends. But her life was not confined to
At the same time, he helped organise His memory will endure as a gentle, the synagogue. She ran a successful
‘Bayit’, the Liberal and Reform campaign kind and enthusiastic man who lived life business and was devoted to her
for the homeless. to the full as long as he was able. family. She looked after her parents
in their later life and enjoyed a
beautiful partnership with John. They
brought up three healthy boys - all
of whom are now playing important
parts in their own synagogues, one in
Holland Park, London, one in Austin,
Texas, and the third in Swansea,
South Wales.
Joan took an active part in
interfaith activities. She went into
schools to talk about Judaism, spoke
at churches and welcomed people to
the synagogue. She was active in the
local residents’ association. She had
been a Girl Guide leader in her youth.
Joan covered everything in her life.
The measure of the woman is in the
number of people needed to take
over the work she did.
We offer our condolences to
husband John, sons Andrew, David
and Nigel and their families.
March/April 2017 Youth LJ Today Page 11

LJY-Netzer is Liberal Judaism’s

Zionist youth movement. It gives
young people the opportunity
to develop a strong Progressive
Jewish identity, make lasting
friendships and have loads of fun

Decisions, decisions, decisions Netzer news

Hannah Stephenson reports from an inspiring Veidah
and notes
By Sam Alston
• LJY-NETZER’s first Choref event,
for ages 8-12, was a great success.
A team of leaders gathered from
all across the country to run an
exciting and engaging sleepover
at Northwood & Pinner Liberal
Synagogue, featuring games and
learning about Tu Bishvat.
We met a penguin, learnt some
songs and enjoyed a treasure hunt
around the synagogue - making so
many new friends along the way!

• OUR February event for older years

at Southgate Progressive Synagogue
saw them take on a hike and choose
which causes to raise money for.
AS AN LJY-Netzer movement worker, I Motions passed included one to Despite occasionally adverse
am proud that our members have chosen improve hadracha (leadership) training weather conditions, everyone had
‘Reclaiming Zionism’ as their Theme of and another – brought by Kinus, a similar a brilliant time hiking around north
the Year for 2017. event for 11-14 year-olds – to institute a London. Evenings were spent playing
The theme was picked at LJY-Netzer’s Pyjama Day on camps. imaginative games in the synagogue.
annual decision-making event, Veidah, LJY-Netzer will also change the
which sees our youth movement’s language used at camps and events after • OUR spectacular spring camp,
members aged 15 upwards decide the a successful motion. Our movement Machaneh Aviv, will run from April
direction in which they want to see it go. prides itself on being as inclusive as 4-9, 2017. The camp, run by trained
One decision we made was to focus possible. We have found that using terms staff and experienced leaders,
in on our pillar of Reform Zionism and such as madrich/madricha (leader) provides an exciting chance to
remember why it is so important to us. means that those who do not identify as explore Jewish identity, play fun
Veidah also included motions and male or female are wrongly addressed. games and be part of the young
discussions covering everything from We are therefore adopting Habonim Liberal Jewish inclusive community.
feminism to sustainable living, as well Dror North America’s new grammar Our unforgettable summer camp,
as some fantastic guest speakers from rules in Hebrew of a gender neutral Machaneh Kadimah, takes place
Keshet, UJIA and Liberal Judaism. singular ‘ol’ and plural ‘imot’. from August 14-27 and is a two week
immersive experience, creating
friendships that last a lifetime.
LJY-NETZER alumni enjoyed drinks For more details, or to apply,
at Limmud (pictured) to kickstart the please visit www.ljy-netzer.org
youth movement’s 70th anniversary
celebrations. If you attended LJY- • HANNAH STEPHENSON, Simon
Netzer, please keep an eye on Lovick and Ellie Lawson will be next
www.liberaljudaism.org for details of year’s movement work team. We’ll
more alumni events coming in 2017. have full profiles in the next lj today.

Contact LJY-Netzer: Sam Alston (sam@liberaljudaism.org), Anna Craven (annac@liberaljudaism.org) and Hannah
Stephenson (hannah@liberaljudaism.org); Director of Youth - Rebecca Fetterman (r.fetterman@liberaljudaism.org)
Page 12 LJ Today March/April 2017

Liberal congregations The Liberal Synagogue Elstree

T: 020 8953 8889
E: tlse@liberaljudaism.org
Southgate Progressive
T: 020 8886 0977
Bedfordshire Progressive Eastbourne Liberal Jewish W: tlse.org.uk E: sps@liberaljudaism.org
Synagogue Community W: sps.uk.com
T: 0845 869 7105 T: 01323 725 650 Lincolnshire Jewish Community
E: bedsps@liberaljudaism.org E: eljc@liberaljudaism.org T: 01427 628 958 South London Liberal
W: bedfordshire-ps.org.uk W: eljc.org.uk E: ljc@liberaljudaism.org Synagogue (Streatham)
W: lincolnshirejc.co.uk T: 020 8769 4787
Beit Klal Yisrael (Notting Hill) Edinburgh Liberal Jewish E: slls@liberaljudaism.org
E: bkymailing@gmail.com Community Manchester Liberal Jewish W: southlondon.org
W: bky.org.uk T: 0131 777 8024 Community
E: info@eljc.org T: 0161 796 6210 Stevenage Liberal Synagogue
Birmingham Progressive W: eljc.org E: mljc@liberaljudaism.org T: 01438 300 222
Synagogue W: mljc.org.uk E: stevenageliberalsynagogue@gmail.com
T: 0121 634 3888 Finchley Progressive Synagogue W: stevenageliberalsynagogue.org.uk
E: bps@liberaljudaism.org T: 020 8446 4063 Mosaic Liberal (Harrow)
W: bpsjudaism.com E: fps@liberaljudaism.org T: 020 8864 5323 Suffolk Liberal Jewish
W: fps.org E: office@mosaicliberal.org.uk Community (Ipswich)
Brighton and Hove Progressive W: mosaicliberal.org.uk T:01473 250 797
Synagogue Gloucestershire Liberal Jewish E: sjc@liberaljudaism.org
T: 01273 737 223 Community Northwood and Pinner Liberal
E: info@bhps-online.org T: 01242 609 311 Synagogue Tikvah Chadasha Synagogue
W: bhps-online.org E: shalom@gljc.org.uk T: 01923 822 592 (Shenfield)
W: gljc.org.uk E: npls@liberaljudaism.org T: 01277 888 610
Bristol and West Progressive W: npls.org.uk E: tikvahchadasha@gmail.com
Jewish Congregation Herefordshire Jewish W: roshtikvah.com
E: bwpjc@bwpjc.org Community Norwich Liberal Jewish
W: bwpjc.org T: 01594 530 721 Community Wessex Liberal Jewish
E: hjc@liberaljudaism.org E: nljc@liberaljudaism.org Community (Bournemouth)
Crawley Jewish Community W: herefordshirejc.org W: norwichljc.org.uk T: 01202 757 590
T: 01293 534 294 E: info@wessexliberaljudaism.org.uk
Kehillah North London Nottingham Liberal Synagogue W: wessexliberaljudaism.org.uk
Crouch End Chavurah T: 020 7403 3779 T: 0115 962 4761
E: info@crouchendchavurah.co.uk E: knl@liberaljudaism.org E: nls@liberaljudaism.org West Central Liberal Synagogue
W: crouchendchavurah.co.uk W: nlpjc.org.uk W: nottinghamliberalsynagogue.com T: 020 7636 7627
E: wcls@liberaljudaism.org
Dublin Jewish Progressive Kent Liberal Jewish Community Peterborough Liberal Jewish W: wcls.org.uk
Congregation T: 07952 242 432 Community
E: djpc@liberaljudaism.org E: enquiries@kljc.org.uk T: 07561 331 390 York Liberal Jewish Community
W: djpcireland.com W: www.kljc.org.uk E: info@pljc.org.uk T: 07469 159 134
W: pljc.org.uk E: info@jewsinyork.org.uk
Ealing Liberal Synagogue Kingston Liberal Synagogue W: jewsinyork.org.uk
T: 020 8997 0528 T: 020 8398 7400 Reading Liberal Jewish
E: els@liberaljudaism.org E: kls@liberaljudaism.org Community Developing and affiliated
W: ealingliberalsynagogue.org.uk W: klsonline.org T: 0118 942 8022
E: readingliberaljewishcommunity@ Beit Ha’Chidush (Amsterdam)
East London & Essex Liberal Leicester Progressive Jewish gmail.com T: +31 23 524 7204
Synagogue Congregation W: www.readingljc.org.uk E: bhc.informatie@gmail.com
T: 020 8554 9682 (Bet Tikvah) T: 0116 271 5584 W: beithachidush.nl
T: 020 8989 7619 (Woodford) E: lpjc@liberaljudaism.org Shir Hatzafon (Copenhagen)
E: eastlondonandessexliberal@ W: lpjc.org.uk T: +45 2370 9757 Lancashire & Cumbria Liberal
gmail.com E: shir@shirhatzafon.dk Jewish Community
W: eastlondonandessexliberal The Liberal Jewish Synagogue W: shirhatzafon.dk W: www.northwestjews.org
synagogue.org (St John’s Wood)
T: 020 7286 5181 South Bucks Jewish Community Oxford Jewish Congregation
E: ljs@ljs.org T: 0845 644 2370 T: 01865 515 584
W: ljs.org E: sbjc@liberaljudaism.org E: progressive@ojc-online.org
W: sbjc.org.uk W: ojc-online.org

The Montagu Centre President Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein

21 Maple Street Chairman Simon Benscher Deputy Chair Lucian J Hudson Vice Chair Jackie Richards
London, W1T 4BE Treasurer Rosie Ward Secretary Dr Howard Cohen Israel and the Diaspora Tamara Schmidt
T: 020 7580 1663 Communications Ed Herman Social Justice Amelia Viney Youth and Education Robin Moss
E: montagu@liberaljudaism.org Music and IT Graham Carpenter National Officers David Hockman and Ruth Seager
W: liberaljudaism.org Vice Presidents Monique Blake, Henry Cohn, Nigel Cole, Geoffrey Davis, Lord Fink, Jeromé
Freedman, Louise Freedman, Rabbi Dr David Goldberg, Sharon Goldstein, Rabbi Harry Jacobi, Willie
Kessler, David Lipman, Corinne Oppenheimer, David Pelham, David Pick, Rosita Rosenberg, Tony
Liberal Judaism is the dynamic, cutting edge Sacker, Harold Sanderson, Joan Shopper, Beverley Taylor and Ken Teacher
of modern Judaism. It reverences Jewish Co-Chairs of Rabbinic Conference Rabbis Richard Jacobi and Alexandra Wright
tradition, seeking to preserve the values of the Senior Rabbi and C hief Executive Rabbi Danny Rich PA to Senior Rabbi Daisy Bogod
past, while giving them contemporary force. Strategy Rabbi Charley Baginsky Student Chaplain Rabbi Leah Jordan Education Rabbi Sandra
Charity Number: 1151090 Kviat Music Cantor Gershon Silins Interfaith Rabbi Mark Solomon Operations Director Shelley
Shocolinsky-Dwyer Director of Administration Alexandra Simonon Archivist Alison Turner
lj today is edited by Simon Rothstein Communications Aaron Abraham Website and eBulletin Yszi Hawkings Reception Thomas Rich
Send your news to ljtoday@liberaljudaism.org Director of Youth Becca Fetterman LJY-Netzer Sam Alston, Anna Craven and Hannah Stephenson

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