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.


Reform mapping out future

By Simon Rocker, August 11, 2011

The Movement for Reform Judaism has launched a strategic review to set its priorities over the next five-to-10 years.

An 18-page "green paper" published this week is being circulated to its synagogues, inviting members' views on where the central movement should put its annual £3 million budget.

Centred on a set of questions for discussion, the document is "not the way Jewish organisations


Reform Judaism host Music and Songleading Conference

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2011
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More than 70 people attended the first ever Anglo-Jewish Music & Song-leading Conference organised by the Movement for Reform Judaism.


Welfare bosses fear reforms will be shelved

By Jessica Elgot, July 7, 2011

A leading Jewish welfare figure has voiced fears that the government will not "grasp the nettle" and implement reforms proposed this week by the Dilnot Commission.

Leon Smith, chief executive of Nightingale in south London, praised the report into long-term care, but believed the government was between "a rock and a hard place politically" on how to fund the recommendations.


Bayfield brought to book

By Simon Rocker, June 23, 2011

Reform rabbis have honoured the movement's president Rabbi Tony Bayfield by producing a festschrift, a collection of essays, dedicated to him.

A Passion for Judaism, edited by Rabbi Jonathan Romain, contains contributions from 29 Reform rabbis, including Rabbi Bayfield's daughter, Rabbi Miriam Berger of Finchley Reform Synagogue.

Rabbi Bayfield, who retired as the professional head of the mo