Yom Sheini, 17 AdarI 5781
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A community library for Peterborough

30 March 2016

Members of Peterborough Liberal Jewish Community (PLJC) have set-up a library, allowing the congregation to borrow books on topics of interest.

Secretary Janet Berkman, and her husband Graham, hosted a special Erev Shabbat during Jewish Book Week to launch the scheme.

Members packed into Janet’s study, which hosts the library and where a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony took place. The ribbon was held by PLJC president Dennis Guttmann and chair Chrissie Hassall, with the honours conducted by the community’s very own published poet, Lotte Kramer.

The library was made possible by generous donations of books from members. All in the community have access to the catalogue, and can borrow books as they wish. Janet has offered refreshments to anyone who visits in person to browse the collection.


Rabbi Danny Rich condemns terrorist attacks in Brussels

The Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism, Rabbi Danny Rich, has condemned this morning's terrorist attacks in Brussels and offered thoughts and prayers for the families of the victims.

Speaking at the movement's head office in Central London, Danny said: "As the news pours out of Brussels and as horrific pictures fill our screens, we are devastated by the loss of so many innocent people, destroyed as they went about their every day lives

Two blasts hit Zaventem Airport at 7am, killing 11 people and injuring 81, and a there was a third explosion at Maalbeek Metro Station just after 8am - where 20 people are thought killed and 106 injured. One British national is known to have been injured.

Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Danny added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of the terror attack and we wish them strength and courage in the upcoming days."

Twilight People announces Trans* and Faith Symposium

22 March 2016

Liberal Judaism warmly invites its members to attend the Twilight People Trans* and Faith Symposium at the University of Warwick on Thursday May 5 from 9am until 5pm.

The event is open to all and participation is FREE of charge. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

The purpose of the Symposium is to set a platform for dialogue across the religious/spiritual and LGBTQIA+ communities – allowing people to meet, share experiences and discuss trans and non binary gender issues in a faith context.

Capacity is limited, so members are encouraged to book their places early at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/twilight-people-trans-faith-symposium-tickets-23262197860

Twilight People also welcomes session proposals, with papers invited from across the heritage, cultural, academic and grassroots communities. 

Papers/sessions can be from 10 minutes to an hour in duration and there will be a mix of panels, workshops, talks and debates.

All session/paper proposals must be submitted by midday on Tuesday March 29. For full details go to http://www.twilightpeople.com/announcing-trans-and-faith-symposium/

The Symposium is another first for Twilight People, the ground-breaking project that discovers and celebrates the hidden history of trans and gender-variant people of faith in the UK past and present.

Photographs, recordings and artefacts collected by Twilight People were recently on display at Islington Museum, the first ever exhibition of its kind in the UK.

Jean honoured for lifetime of service in Birmingham

22 March 2016

Words by Joe Seager
Picture by Peter Noons

A special kiddush was held at Birmingham Progressive Synagogue (BPS) to honour member Jean Bonner for her many years of outstanding service.

The community made Jean the guest of honour over Shabbat, with warm tributes paid to her by prominent BPS figures including president Frank Maxwell and Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi. Members also filled in a ‘memory book’ for Jean to keep.

Jean has filled many key roles for BPS, always putting herself out for others. Despite recently curtailing her activities, due a period of ill health, Jean pledged to continue to show how much the synagogue had benefited her life.

She said: “I feel blessed to have been shown so much kindness and affection. It was a very moving and humbling experience.”

“Young people from the BPS vocal group sang for me, the shul choir gave me another surprise treat by taking part in the service and I was overjoyed to see many of the members I have come to know as an extended family.”

Speaking during the Shabbat service, Rabbi Margaret said: “Jean has provided the perfect example of living a good life. She has always been generous with her time, willing to welcome people into her home, visit people who were unwell and always send cards to remember birthdays.

“Jean is one of the most spiritual people I know, in her quiet modest way.”

Corinne Oppenheimer and Henry Cohn, vice presidents of Liberal Judaism and former presidents of BPS, represented the national movement at the event.


Wandering scroll finds its way to Crouch End

21 March 2016

The community at Crouch End Chavurah have welcomed a ‘new’ Torah scroll that is more than 100 years old and travels around the world.

Canadian-born sofer Avielah Barclay – the first female Torah scribe for 250 years – visited the community at Shabbat and revealed many interesting facts about the scroll, which has travelled thousands of miles.

The Torah – which is believed to have been written more than 100 years ago by a scribe from Polish tradition – is handed to communities who are unable to afford their own scroll, as a long-term loan.

The scroll has been passed on from the Danish community where Rabbi Sandra Kviat, of Crouch End Chavurah, originates.

Rabbi Sandra said: “We are honoured to be the latest recipients of this most special of scrolls. Avielah’s talk was fascinating and everyone at Crouch End Chavurah hopes she will return to continue educating us.

“I would also like to thank the NLPS Trust, without whose generosity this would not have been possible.”


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