Liberals send prayer books to Mumbai

September 20, 2012

A consignment of Liberal Judaism’s High Holy-Day prayerbooks were dispatched to the community in Mumbai in time for Rosh Hashanah.

The Liberal movement was originally known as the Jewish Religious Union and the Mumbai congregation keeps the name. It was founded in 1925 by Dr Jerusha Jhirad, who had studied medicine in London, where she came under the influence of the founders of Liberal Judaism — Lily Montagu, Claude Montefiore and Israel Mattuck.

During Muslim-Hindu riots in 1993, a firebomb thrown into the premises of a Muslim tenant destroyed the synagogue interior, including the ark and Torah scrolls. Since then, the community has worshipped in halls rented from Jewish charities.

The JRU has long used the old Liberal prayerbooks. But Rabbi Stanley Davids, the visiting minister for the High Holy-Days last year, suggested it was time for a change. So 130 copies of Machzor Ruach Chadashah were sent to Mumbai for festival use. As well as providing spiritual aid, it is hoped the gesture will strengthen ties between Liberal Judaism and its sister congregation.

Last updated: 12:36pm, September 20 2012