Yom Shabbat, 23 Av 5779
Saturday, 24 August 2019
Living in a small community: How I helped to launch a Liberal community in York

The JC
July 24th 2015

When former Movement for Reform Judaism chief executive Ben Rich moved from London to York with his young family early in the summer of 2013, there was no organised Jewish life. Today the York congregation - the newest in the Liberal Judaism fold - is celebrating its first anniversary, attracts three dozen people to its monthly Shabbat service, and is searching for a full-time rabbi. Well over 100 individuals have attended a York service or event.

"You will only get that core by talking to people and by chutzpah," says Mr Rich, who was this week appointed interim chief of staff to new Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

He once recruited a woman he saw in the street wearing a Star of David necklace. "It turned out she was a member of Sinai in Leeds but never went because it was too far. She and her family became founding members of York." Press releases to local media also helped.  Read more