Yom Shabbat, 15 AdarI 5781
Shushan Purim Saturday, 27 February 2021
Starting from a position of strength at LJ

The JC

New Liberal Judaism chair Simon Benscher wants to build on "the enormous strength that we have in our communities and their members.

"Going back to our grassroots and getting hands-on with all of our 41 communities is a big part of our way forward," he said, after his unanimous election at the movement's AGM, held at its West End HQ.

"Liberal Judaism is blessed with the most inspirational and driven rabbis, who have taken on an enormous, but nonetheless exciting, task in authoring a new prayer book. Whether this happens under my watch or not, I'm looking forward to being a part of the process."

Mr Benscher, a former Woodford Liberal Synagogue chair, succeeds Lucian Hudson, who held the post for six years.

Looking back over his tenure, Mr Hudson said there had been "an expansion in the number of communities, increased profile, the creation of the alliance with the Movement for Reform Judaism and legal incorporation as a modernised civil society organisation".

He was "thrilled to be handing over to Simon, a big man in more ways than one. He will take Liberal Judaism to new heights with his deep experience and understanding of our movement, his generosity of spirit and extraordinary dedication."

It was also announced that rabbis Richard Jacobi and Alexandra Wright had been elected as the new co-chairs of Liberal Judaism's rabbinic conference.