Yom Sheini, 17 AdarI 5781
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Jewish history made in Scarborough

7 March 2016

More than 50 people turned out for the first Jewish service in Scarborough in living memory this weekend.

Held at Albermarle Baptist Church, the service was organised as part of an outreach programme by York Liberal Jewish Community (YLJC) and led by their Student Rabbi Daniel Lichman. Yasmin King, who lectures locally, helped to arrange the event.

Among those present were the Ted and Ruth Sulman, who have owned a gift and toy shop in the town for 40 years, Joyce Wright, who has also lived in the area for 40 years. A number of families from nearby Whitby attended and are now considering organising a similar event there.

Commenting afterwards, YLJC chair Ben Rich said: "This shows that there are people identifying as Jewish in pretty much every part of the country. If our community is going to continue to grow and thrive we need to reach out to where people are, rather that waiting for them to come to us."

After the service, some of the attendees headed to the beach (pictured).


Biennial Weekend early bird offer extended

29 February 2016

After requests from members and communities, Liberal Judaism is extending its Early Bird offer for July’s Biennial Weekend.

The biggest event in the Liberal Jewish year, the Biennial Weekend will take place from July 1-3, 2016, at the St Johns Hotel in the West Midlands.

The Early Bird Prices are £250 for adults, £60 for students and children aged 5-16, and £40 for those under 5. They were due to end today (February 29), but will now run until midnight on March 15.

The rate is per person and includes accommodation, all meals and materials. Delegates will also receive complimentary access to the hotel’s health club, swimming pool and spa.

You can book at www.tinyurl.com/ bien2016 or by calling Aaron at Liberal Judaism’s head office on 020 7631 9830.

From March 16, prices will go up to £310 for adults, £100 for children aged 5-16 and £60 for those under 5. Student tickets will remain at £60.

The 2016 Biennial Weekend will offer a packed schedule of thought-provoking tracks, involving rabbis, writers, artists, musicians and leading Jewish voices.

For the first time, we will have a scholar in residence – Rabbi Dr Dalia Marx, the associate professor of liturgy and midrash at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. As well as her many research projects and a passion for promoting Progressive Judaism in Israel, she was the editor of the new Israeli Reform Siddur.

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, the chair of the Biennial Weekend organising committee, said: “The Biennial is selling out quickly, so with our Early Bird discounts extended for another two weeks, now is the best time to book your place.

"The Biennial is an essential weekend where you’ll see old friends and make new ones, learn, discuss, share, sing and pray in a warm and friendly environment.”

Danny joins Archbishop on return home

29 February 2016

More than 200 people crowded into Hull Reform Synagogue to hear Rabbi Danny Rich, the senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism, and Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, preach on the need for community outreach and collaboration between faiths.

Taking place on Friday February 26, the service was attended by members of Hull Reform Synagogue, York Liberal Jewish Community and Lincolnshire Jewish Community, as well as many others from local churches and faith groups, including Muslim and Hindu representatives. The explanatory service was ably led by Hull’s lay leader, Ian Sugerman.

The event marked a return home for Danny, who was assigned to support Hull Reform in the 1980s as part of his Rabbinic training. He was the student rabbi when the current synagogue building was consecrated in 1992.

Danny has maintained a strong relationship with the Reform congregation in Hull since that time, despite going on to become the senior rabbi and chief executive of Liberal Judaism.

He said: “It was great seeing a mix of new and familiar faces from the Progressive Jewish movements and beyond our walls. Coming back to Hull is always special for me, especially when speaking alongside someone as inspirational as the Archbishop of York.”


LJ senior rabbi to speak at Oxford University Intrafaith Conference

29 February 2016

Rabbi Danny Rich – the chief executive and senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism – will be part of a unique cross-communal event at Oxford University next week.

The Oxford Intrafaith Conference sees the university’s JSoc bring together leaders, from the different branches Judaism, to engage in dialogue and discussion on a relevant topic of interest.

This year the topic is halacha, and Danny will be joined by Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, the senior rabbi of Masorti Judaism, Rabbi Raphael Zarum, an Orthodox rabbi and the dean of the London School of Jewish Studies, and Oxford University’s Professor Hindy Najman.

The three rabbis will discuss halacha, considering why it is relevant nowadays and how it develops, each from the perspective of their own denomination. Professor Hindy Najman will then provide an insight into how halacha as a system has historically developed over time, before the debate is opened up to questions from the audience.

The event takes place on Monday March 7 at 6.30pm at the Harris Lecture Theatre, Oriel College, Oxford. The cost is just £2. For more information, please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Your chance to see Israel anew and for free

28 February 2016

UJIA Birthright, with Liberal Judaism and the Movement for Reform Judaism, has just launched a trip to Israel, to take place in August, for 19 to 26-year-olds.

For the first time, it will be open to those who have already been on Israel tour and, best of all, it is FREE.

Sophie Lipton, a student fieldworker for Reform Judaism, describes the trip as a way “to form life-long connections with a great group of people, Israel and Judaism”.

She wrote in the Jewish News: “When I had visited Israel as a teenager, one of my main interests was socialising. Returning as a young adult, I appreciated seeing cultural and political aspects of Israel, as well as enjoying all the fun of the trip. I felt the value of seeing something from the inside, of being part of it.

“How different this is to reading the news from afar. Listening to multiple points of view is very valuable and our Birthright trip this summer will explore them.

“This is a trip for first and second timers, a chance to see Israel anew and to reflect on what it means to you. It’s a chance to connect to Israel, Judaism and likeminded people.”

To read the full Jewish News article, go to www.jewishnews.co.uk/young-voices-israel-trip-is-a-way-to-connect

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