Yom Shabbat, 23 Av 5779
Saturday, 24 August 2019
Liberal Judaism welcomes North Herts

North Herts Liberal Jewish Community (NHLJC) has become a full constituent member of Liberal Judaism.

The congregation, which is based in the Stevenage area, was given ‘developing community’ status by Liberal Judaism in 2010, including rabbinic and financial support.

After a very successful two and a half years, Liberal Judaism’s Council passed a unanimous vote, on Sunday December 9, to make NHLJC a fully-fledged Liberal Judaism congregation.

Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich said: “North Herts is another example of where Liberal Judaism has invested effort and money and as a result now has a vibrant new community.

“The congregation are now in a position to make financial and other contributions to help us establish the next new community.”

Rabbi Ariel Friedlander, who is part-time rabbi for NHLJC, said: “It’s been exciting to see how, in such a short time, North Herts has developed from a few people holding services together into a congregation and making the commitment to become part of the national movement of Liberal Judaism.”

This weekend was a very special one for North Herts. As well as becoming a full constituent member of Liberal Judaism, the community celebrated a baby blessing and the graduation of a lay leader.


lj_north_hertsLinda Paice was part of Liberal Judaism’s second Ba'alei Tefillah programme, which also graduated during Sunday’s Council meeting.

Linda is pictured, left, receiving her graduation certifiate from Liberal Judaism's Chairman, Lucian Hudson.

Rabbi Ariel added: “A day before her graduation, Linda read the Torah at North Herts during the service celebrating the naming of her first granddaughter. 

“What a weekend for Linda and North Herts!”

During the Council meeting, NHLJC chairman and founder member Terry Wolfe gave an impassioned speech about the community.

He said: “We had a team carrying out a mitzvah on Mitzvah day both last year and this year and we cooperated with Stevenage Borough Council in their commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day.

“I doubt there are many towns where the Liberal element represent the Jewish community!

“We have numerous social activities, including quizzes and excursions. One new member commented that she had made 40 new friends. How wonderful is that?

“We call our community Bet Chaverim, the House of Friends, and that is what we are. There is a most wonderful feeling of camaraderie and togetherness.

“We are very pleased to have been invited to apply for full membership of Liberal Judaism and will be very proud to be so elected.”