Reform

Harrow congregations to ponder merger proposal

By Robyn Rosen, February 25, 2010

Two Reform synagogues in the Harrow area have taken the first steps towards a potential merger.

Members of the Kol Chai community in Hatch End and the Middlesex New Synagogue have been invited to parallel open meetings on March 21 to discuss the option.

The idea is for the buildings to be sold to fund a purpose-built site for a combined adult membership of 1,300.

Kol Chai co-chair Neil Mendoza said: "Our area is an exciting and dynamic place to be Jewish. Harrow has the third largest Jewish population in London and Bushey is one of the fastest growing communities in the UK.

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Reform is too frum for us, say members

By Sue Fishkoff, December 17, 2009

For the past decade, the American Reform movement has been engaged in a re-evaluation of traditional rituals, from Shabbat to kashrut. There is more Hebrew in the services, more yarmulkes, more interest in using mitzvot to bring holiness to the mundane.

But now, a small group of mainly older Reform Jews is resisting. They say this growing interest in ritual observance is a betrayal of Reform’s original rationalist approach to faith, and is putting the movement on the slippery slope towards Orthodoxy.

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'Ethical' food, not kosher, is priority for US Reform

By Sue Fishkoff, November 26, 2009

For the past few years, the American Reform movement has been edging toward a re-examination of kashrut. Those tentative steps were diverted somewhat at the movement’s biennial convention in Toronto earlier this month.

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Reform 'deeply worried' on funds

By Robyn Rosen, October 15, 2009

Reform leaders have warned supporters about the impact of the recession on activities.

Addressing over 200 guests at the Movement for Reform Judaism’s annual dinner in central London, movement head Rabbi Tony Bayfield said he was “deeply worried about the remainder of this year and next year. We get no government grants, no public funding. We are entirely dependent upon private individuals.

“Never more than now do we need you to commit wholeheartedly to the future that you see.”

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Bournemouth Reform split deepens

September 17, 2009

A special meeting of Bournemouth Reform Synagogue has failed to avert a breakaway by members dissatisfied with the shul’s direction.

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Wimbledon ball buoys

June 25, 2009

A diamond ball was a dazzling way for Wimbledon (Reform) Synagogue to celebrate its 60th birthday.

More than 180 people attended the black-tie event in the shul hall, which was decorated with ribboned hula-hoops. Although most of the funds raised were for the synagogue, a donation was made to the the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice in Hampton.

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Bradford is forced to sell

June 25, 2009

Bradford’s Reform congregation has reluctantly agreed to the sale of its Grade II listed building as “a very last resort”.

The proposal was supported at an EGM on Monday, despite opposition from within the 35-member shul.

Those against the sale include Rachel Yosef, who feels it would be the “death blow” for Bradford Reform. “We need to seize on the last fragment of hope and raise enough money to ensure that this sale does not happen.”

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Recession-hit UK families plead for Israel tour grants

By James Martin, June 25, 2009

One-in-five families planning to send their children on Reform Judaism Israel tours and UK summer camps are applying for bursaries as the credit crunch bites.

Such is the demand for financial assistance that the Movement for Reform Judaism has launched an appeal to raise £10,000 for additional financial assistance.

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Tweet smell of success

June 4, 2009

As part of its outreach efforts, Reform Judaism now has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter.

The movement’s Martin Dix says the idea is to “engage with Jews across the country who may otherwise have no contact with the Jewish community, live at a distance from Jewish centres, or who do not want to join a synagogue but are looking for new ways to connect with Jewish life.”

Traditional forms of communication were no longer sufficient. “Twitter and Facebook are hubs of social networking, bringing together millions of people.

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How Chief Rabbis have battled against Reform

By Rabbi Dr Jeffrey Cohen, November 18, 2008

Faith against Reason: Religious Reform and the British CHief Rabbinate, 1840-1990

Meir Persoff
Vallentine Mitchell, £50, £19.95 pb

It may be coincidence that, within the past two years, three books have appeared on the subject of the British Chief Rabbinate. This perhaps indicates that religious hierarchy and authority are largely becoming relegated to the status of historical curiosity, with most committed young Jews owing allegiance to their own individual and charismatic spiritual gurus.

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