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Liberal Chanukkah drive boosted by social media

30th November 2012

Liberal Judaism will be sending out 250 Chanukkah packs to Liberal Jewish students on 36 different campuses across the UK this year.

chanukkah2The packs will include a menorah, candles, a dreidel, Chanukkah gelt and the warm wishes of Liberal Judaism’s student chaplain Rabbi Ariel Friedlander and student and young adult coordinator Student Rabbi Benji Stanley.

Through the use of Facebook and Twitter, Liberal Judaism has greatly increased its ability to reach Progressive Jewish student on campus in 2012.

Rabbi Ariel said: “Although we’re better connected to our students than ever before, there’s nothing like receiving a Chanukkah pack through the post – especially one that contains a dreidel and gelt.

“We hope this brings a little light into everyone’s life during the festival.”

Strong start for ‘Rainbow Jews’

27th November 2012

Liberal Judaism’s new ‘Rainbow Jews’ project manager Su Knan has expressed her excitement at a very successful start for the landmark initiative.

A number of volunteers have already signed up for the project – which celebrates Jewish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) history and heritage in the UK – with just a few spaces now left open.

Anyone wishing to take part should contact Su on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as soon as possible.

Volunteers will receive full professional training in archiving, oral history recording and processing, transcribing and exhibition curating.

People from ALL backgrounds are encouraged to volunteer and all that is required is a commitment of 2-3 days each month until the project is completed in 2014.

Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich said: “With the full support of Liberal Judaism, 'Rainbow Jews' will provide an important source of Jewish history.

“I urge people to get involved and support this project in whichever way they can.

“Participants will learn about this heritage, and are going to make an important contribution to our community, this will increase the likelihood of being awarded with similar prestigious grants in the future.”

Follow ‘Rainbow Jews’ on Twitter and Facebook to find out more.

Mitzvah Day special!

Liberal communities around the UK took part in a very successful Mitzvah Day this year. We’ll have full details and pictures in the forthcoming issue of lj today. In the meantime, here’s a rundown and some of the best snaps.

ljsmdThe Liberal Jewish Synagogue collected goods for a local homelessness charity by asking for donations outside Sainsbury’s in the O2 Centre. The religion school made shoebox gift boxes for Barnardo's and Kabbalat Torah classes visited a care home.







Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich was part of a large group of people, from across all branches of Judaism and beyond, planting trees at Heartwood Forest - England's largest new native woodland.

The staff team at the Montagu Centre, Liberal Judaism’s head office, helped sort and pack old coats for Hands on London – meaning 8, 500 coats could be given to help vulnerable people in London through the winter.

Members of LJY-Netzer, the youth movement of Liberal Judaism, visited Ravenswood Village, a home for Jewish adults with severe learning disabilities run by the charity Norwood. The young people helped the residents to make poppies and cards in recognition of Remembrance Sunday and the AJEX march, and led them in song with guitars, singing and shakers aplenty!

Children and adults Kingston Liberal Synagogue went to Southborough Nursing Home in Surbiton to help serve the residents cream tea and keep them company.

woodfordmdThe cheder children at Woodford Liberal Synagogue performed in a musical show for the community’s Friendship Club, while the whole congregation donated food items for the residents of Jason Lee House – a local homeless support hostel.


Gloucestershire Liberal Jewish Community collected saleable goods that they donated to the Children’s Society shop in Cheltenham. 

Crouch End Chavurah visited the Kurdish Centre in Hornsey to perform a musical concert, with 15 children and adults from the community and one Kurdish boy playing their instruments and singing.

The Oxford Jewish Centre was positively bursting with activities on Mitzvah Day, with members making soup, planting bulbs and trees and sifting through mountains of donated winter clothes for World Jewish Relief, spectacles for Vision Aid and toiletries and food items for local asylum seekers.

Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation packed a selection of eight toys and other items, plus a handwritten letter, into gift boxes to send to two Day Care Centres in Haifa, which are part of the Leo Baeck Outreach programme for under-privileged children. There was also an open day and bake sale.

 finchleymdFinchley Progressive Synagogue had a busy and varied Mitzvah Day, clearing leaves and ivy at Highgate Cemetery and providing an impressive array of musical talent for a concert party at Rosetrees.








Bedfordshire Progressive Synagogue’s Naomi Fellerman joined a group of people from BTJD (Better than Just Dating) to paint a room at Kisharon Adult Day Centre in Hendon.

South Bucks Jewish Community made colourful number books to help children in Uganda to learn to count, before heading to Heartwood Forest near St Albans to take part in their mass tree planting.
West Central Liberal Synagogue’s energetic Dion Lebowitz organised a team of volunteers to collect toiletries and art supplies for the Separated Child Foundation.

The religion school of The Liberal Synagogue Elstree made Chanukkah cards for children at Norwood, while the older generation painted a room in Norwood's HQ and helps turn it into a training room.

Yszi Hawkings (LJS), James Dobias (Woodford) and Danny Kessler (LJS) went to St Mungo's in Swiss Cottage to make lunch for their residential and drop-in clients.

north hertsmd
  • The North Herts Liberal Jewish Community re-decorated two rooms in the home of two local (non-Jewish) gentlemen with special needs. Their carer, Heather Lipitch is a member of NHLJC and she reported that they desperately needed improvements to their home.






New leaders emerge for LJY-Netzer

26th November 2012

More than 25 young Liberal Jews attended LJY-Netzer’s hadracha seminar this weekend, a retreat training the future and current leaders of LJY-Netzer and Liberal Judaism.

Held at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, in London, the event provided training for youth club, event and camp leaders, as well as future LJY-Netzer movement workers.

Many different topics were covered over the Friday night, Saturday and Sunday including using Torah in leadership, what it means to be a personal example and ideological issues surrounding Judaism in Britain and Israel.

ljyhadsemGuest speakers included Liberal Judaism’s student and young adult coordinator Benji Stanley, UJIA’s Naomi Russell and Ali Bodin from Yachad UK.

LJY-Netzer movement worker Robin Cooke said: “The young people taking part were all in school years 11-13 and this is the either the first stage of their leadership training or the continuation of their journey.

“It was a great weekend and fantastic to see so many young Liberal Jews discussing and debating such vital topics.”

The next LJY-Netzer hadracha seminar will take place from December 7-9 at The Liberal Synagogue Elstree. For more information or to sign up contact Robin on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LJY-Netzer spend Mitzvah Day at Ravenswood

On Mitzvah Day, nine members of LJY-Netzer visited Ravenswood Village – a home for Jewish adults with severe learning disabilities run by the charity Norwood UK.

The young Liberal Jews helped the residents make poppies and cards in recognition of Remembrance Sunday and the AJEX march, and led them in song.

LJY-Netzer movement worker Robin Cooke said: “There were guitars, singing and shakers aplenty!

“A lovely day was had by all, with many a mitzvah performed.”

Norwood UK is LJY-Netzer’s Social Action Project of the Year, giving members a chance to create meaningful and hands-on social action.

The youth movement of Liberal Judaism have run a number of events with Norwood’s Ravenswood Village including a Kabbalat Shabbat service and third night Seder.

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