Don't write us off, we have something to say

By Simon Rocker, March 29, 2012

British Jewry needs a more imaginative approach to its growing ranks of senior citizens which goes beyond care for the most vulnerable, according to a new report.

Instead, it should do more to encourage older people to take part in community activities and find opportunities for personal growth.

"The Jewish community has twice the number of people aged over 60 compared to the general populat


Chief Rabbi pushed to rule on same-sex marriage

March 22, 2012

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has been urged to take a stand against government plans to introduce marriage for same-sex couples.

Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein, head of the Federation Beth Din, said: "It is his obligation as chief rabbi to speak out."


Reform backs gay marriage

By Simon Rocker, March 8, 2012

The Reform movement has branded as "inflammatory" an attack on same-sex marriage by one of Britain's leading Catholic clerics.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, described plans to legalise gay marriage as "madness" and a "grotesque subvesion".

But Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, movement rabbi for Reform Judaism, said that the cardinal's comments were "inflamma


Overseas aid challenge attracts Reform specialist

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2012

International aid charity Tzedek's new chief executive Jude Williams brings to the job exerience in building up an organisation.

Ms Williams will be moving from Jeneration, the Reform Movement's young adult programme, which she has been instrumental in developing.

Originally working with people across the Jewish spectrum, Jeneration recently restructured as a specifically Reform programme wi


Northern clime warms Rabbi Laura

January 12, 2012

Three days into her job as the Reform Movement rabbi, Laura Janner-Klausner paid her first communal visit to Manchester's three Reform synagogues.

Rabbi Janner-Klausner enjoyed a Friday-night meal at the Sha'arei Shalom Synagogue in north Manchester, where she told congregants that her main priority was to help Reform communities achieve their full potential.

On Shabbat morning, she delivere


Shining example is set by Reform's northern lights

By Jessica Elgot, December 2, 2011

Strengthening smaller communities, starting up schools, improving lay leadership and making services more musical were among topics discussed at Reform Judaism's annual conference for nothern communities, held in Cumbria over the weekend.

Organised by Sarita Robinson from Hull Reform Synagogue, the conference attracted 117 adults, teens and children.


Liberal leader advocates 'Federation' with Reform

By Simon Rocker, November 10, 2011

Liberal Judaism chair Lucian Hudson has called for a closer alliance with the Reform movement, suggesting they combine forces in a joint federation.

Writing in the latest issue of the Liberal newsletter, LJ Today, Mr Hudson said he wanted to go beyond the old question of "merger" - the subject of failed talks between the movements.

Instead, they should "focus on what it would take to create


Manchester Big Tent flap may be over

By Simon Rocker, November 3, 2011

Two senior Northern Reform figures have been named in a committee set up to defuse controversy over the Big Tent for Israel conference in Manchester at the end of the month.

The event, set for November 27, had been hit by an escalating row after organiser Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag said he would not consider inviting non-Orthodox rabbis to speak.

But last week Rabbi Guttentag reached a comprom


'Remarkable' Prof Ludwik Finkelstein mourned

By Simon Rocker, August 30, 2011

Professor Ludwik Finkelstein, the distinguished scientist and accomplished Reform educator, died in London on Saturday aged 81.

Hendon Reform Synagogue's Rabbi Steven Katz paid tribute to a "remarkable man whose three passions in life were family, Judaism in all its facets and his academic expertise.


Reform shuls welcome virtual congregants

By Jessica Elgot, August 18, 2011

Congregants unable to get to synagogue are singing the praises of the Reform communities which are streaming Shabbat and High Holy-Day services online.

Finchley, Glasgow, Alyth in Golders Green and Sha'arei Tsedek in Whetstone are the Reform congregations leading the way and West London Synagogue plans to join them.