Reform urged to reach out to Israelis in UK

October 25, 2012

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub has called on the Movement for Reform Judaism to reach out to Israelis living in Britain “to show them types of expressions of Judaism that maybe they haven’t been able to see in Israel”.

Addressing the 220-plus guests who packed out the Royal Institute of British Architects in central London for MRJ’s annual dinner, Mr Taub highlighted the large number of Israelis believed to be in the UK.

The movement, he said, should “think about what you can do to reach out to these people while they are here to welcome them in”.

In conversation with movement rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, who he warmly praised, the ambassador also discussed the current security situation in Israel and concerns about Iran.

He stressed that the co-operation between Israel and the UK on these issues was “deep, transparent, practical and constructive”.

Rabbi Janner-Klausner urged the envoy to convey the distress felt by British Progressive Jews over the arrests of Women at the Wall members at the Western Wall.

Noting the rise in pluralism in Israel, Mr Taub spoke of the “common tragedy that Judaism is what holds us together but sometimes it is interpretations of Judaism that push us apart”.

Stressing the importance of ethics and quoting the philosopher Ramban, he said it should be recognised that “ultimately our right to live in Israel is dependent on the quality of the society that we build there”.

Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman and UJIA chair Mick Davis were other guests at the dinner.

Last updated: 2:09pm, October 25 2012