Reform movement

Reform forced to shut Northern office

By Simon Rocker, October 30, 2008

The Reform Movement is to close its Northern office in Manchester as part of a package of cuts caused by the general financial crisis.

Three staff are to be laid off in the synagogue services department, admin and IT, members of the movement's council were told at a quarterly meeting in London on Sunday.

Despite an increased yield from its annual dinner earlier this month, the Reform's fundraising target of £980,000 is likely to fall short by £21,000 this year: and it is planning to cut is spending by around £270,000 to just over £3 million next year.


Reform launches outreach arm as alternative to Aish

By Simon Rocker, October 17, 2008

The Reform movement is about to take the first step to launch an alternative to Aish, the Orthodox outreach organisation for young adults.

A residential weekend next month will be the inaugural event by the Assembly of Reform Rabbis to offer a "non-fundamentalist" alternative.


Accord: we want to broaden education

By Simon Rocker, September 4, 2008

Rabbi Jonathan Romain was this week at pains to point out that the new Accord campaign, which he chairs, is not against the existence of faith schools.
Its aim was to bring religious schools under greater state control, he explained at the new group's London launch on Monday.


Reform blasts own rabbi on faith schools

By Simon Rocker, September 4, 2008

The chairman of Britain's Reform movement has distanced it from the involvement of the head of its rabbinic assembly, Rabbi Jonathan Romain, in a new campaign to curb faith schools.

The Chief Rabbi, meanwhile, offered the JC a comment article extolling the "essential" role of Jewish faith schools.

Last week, the JC reported that Rabbi Romain, the Reform rabbi of Maidenhead synagogue, was among religious leaders planning to lobby the government to prevent state-funded faith schools using a child's or parent's religion in determining admission.


Teens: let us smoke on tour

By Dana Gloger, August 1, 2008

The hot topic among Jewish youth movements this summer has been whether or not to allow participants to smoke on "tour" - the Israel summer schemes for post-GCSE 16-year-olds.

The dilemma arises over a change in UK law which has raised the age at which cigarettes can be bought to 18, the same as in Israel. But legally, 16-year-olds in Britain can smoke.


Reform’s Israel stance pleases ambassador

July 11, 2008

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor has praised the Movement for Reform Judaism for increasing the breadth of support for Israel among British Jewry.

Mr Prosor addressed the 260 delegates at the movement’s biennial conference in Leicester at the weekend, where newly elected Reform chair Stephen Moss reaffirmed its non-negotiable commitment to Israel — and to democracy, justice and human rights for all people of the Middle East.


Medal for Sternberg

By Craig Silver, June 20, 2008

Sir Sigmund Sternberg has become the first Jew to receive the St Mellitus Medal which is awarded to those who have made a substantial contribution to London.

The Reform movement president and philanthropist told the JC: “It is a great pleasure to receive this award and to be the first Jew to be given it.”

Sir Sigmund received the medal from the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, at the St Ethelburga’s Centre in the City of London for his work in promoting interfaith relations in the capital.


Reform renames

June 20, 2008

The Reform movement’s Assembly of Rabbis has voted at its Annual General Meeting to change its name to the Assembly of Reform Rabbis UK. The move was instigated by its chairman, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, who said they were looking for a more precise description of the group.

The Assembly intends to take a greater role in the wider Jewish community through the publication of a series of pamphlets on contemporary issues. Proposed subjects include healing in Judaism, new creative rituals and ethical investment.


Rabbi speaks on abortion

May 23, 2008

The Reform movement’s Rabbi Jonathan Romain spoke against lowering the abortion limit from 24 weeks at a breakfast briefing for MPs ahead of this week’s vote.

Attempts to reduce the limit to 20 or 22 weeks were decisively defeated in the House of Commons on Tuesday night.