Yom Chamishi, 18 Iyyar 5779
Lag B Omer Thursday, 23 May 2019
Liberal Judaism – Top 5 Moments in 2015

21st December 2015

Whether it was campaigning for refugees, coming together at the Day of Celebration or exploring Judaism in new and innovative ways, 2015 was another year of highs for our national movement, communities and members.

Below we look back at five key moments from the past 12 months:

1. Simon Benscher becomes Liberal Judaism chair - http://www.liberaljudaism.org/news/1109-liberal-judaism-elects-a-new-chair-at-agm.html
In July, Simon Benscher was unanimously elected as the new chair of Liberal Judaism. Simon - a former chair of Woodford Liberal Synagogue - took over from Lucian J Hudson. After a very successful six year term, Lucian now serves as deputy chair. Lucian said: "I am 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.”

2. Three hundred Liberal Jews gather for Day of Celebration - http://www.liberaljudaism.org/news/1098-british-liberal-jews-told-to-interfere-in-israeli-politics.html

Three hundred Liberal Jews from more than 30 communities gathered at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue for the Day of Celebration in June. Delegates – whose ages ranged from a four-month-old baby to members in their 90s – heard from speakers including Rabbi Miri Gold and Anat Hoffman. Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich, said: “This was Liberal Judaism at its best. A sizeable but friendly crowd came together to discuss an issue, the Israel/Diaspora relationship, that can be divisive and controversial, but which we all agree needs to be examined and thought about.”

3, Interfaith Award for Northwood & Pinner - http://www.liberaljudaism.org/news/1213-interfaith-award-for-northwood-a-pinner.html

Liberal communities all over the country were actively involved in Mitzvah Day in November, with Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue’s ‘Refugees Are Welcome’ event winning the Mitzvah Day Award for Interfaith Partnership of the Year. The prize also recognised the synagogue’s incredible work acting as a hub for local faith communities to donate materials to refugees, which were delivered through the Wycombe Islamic Society.

4. Prime Minister writes to Liberal Judaism - http://www.liberaljudaism.org/news/1057-prime-minister-writes-to-liberal-chairman.html

Prime Minister David Cameron wrote to Lucian J Hudson, after the two met at 10 Downing Street. Lucian was part of a delegation of leaders from community group Citizens UK, who held talks with Mr Cameron at 10 Downing Street in February. They discussed a range of issues of concern from the Living Wage to resettlement of refugees to Holocaust education. In an exchange of letters after the meeting, Mr Cameron wrote: “I am pleased that, as a result of the Commission’s work, Britain will have a National Memorial, a world class learning centre and an endowment fund to secure Holocaust education forever.”

5. Liberal Jew part of Israel’s first parliamentary transgender consultation - http://www.liberaljudaism.org/news/1100-ljs-surat-part-of-israels-first-parliamentary-transgender-consultation.html

Liberal Judaism’s Surat-Shaan Knan took part in Israel’s first ever parliamentary transgender consultation in June. Twilight People project manager Surat was invited after attending the LGBT Leadership Conference 2015 in Tel Aviv. He said: “Being part of Israel's first ever transgender consultation at the Knesset, the Parliament, was a true privilege. History in the making.”