Yom Shabbat, 23 Av 5779
Saturday, 24 August 2019
Offering a third way for Judaism

The JC
May 16 2014

by Lucian J. Hudson, Chairman of Liberal Judaism

The growth of the Charedi and secular sections of our community identified by the recent JPR community survey has been much remarked upon. Much less noted has been growth by almost a third of those identifying as progressive.

These figures hide a huge "churn". Nevertheless, they demonstrate the ability of Liberal Judaism - in the words of a once famous beer advertisement - to reach the Jews other denominations cannot reach.

The trend is confirmed by the increase in the number of Liberal Jewish communities. In the past few weeks we have seen new Liberal communities established in Suffolk and York, bringing the total number to 40. Over 300 people attended our largest ever biennial conference last weekend. Membership numbers are up, engagement is growing and finances are robust.

But the impact of Liberal Judaism is not just about numbers.

Over the years, Progressive Judaism has broken numerous taboos, appointing the first women rabbis, the first openly LGBT rabbis, providing mixed-faith blessings and welcoming the children of such couples on an equal basis, regardless of the gender of the Jewish parent.

Why? Not to annoy more traditional sections of the community nor to modernise for modernity's sake, but because we believe Judaism must be about positive action, not bloodlines.  Read more