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Isaac is at the cutting edge of a Liberal first

Herefordshire upsherin ceremony breaks new ground for Liberal Judaism

    What is believed to be Liberal Judaism’s first upsherin ceremony took place at Herefordshire Jewish Community, where Isaac Turner had his hair cut for the first time following his third birthday.

    Isaac’s mother Alison thanked movement leaders for their support — and for arranging for Rabbi Dr Robert Ash, minister of the Lancashire and Cumbria Liberal congregation, to officiate.

    “[Husband] Marc and I found the upsherin a very meaningful way to mark Isaac’s transition from baby to toddler and to reiterate all our hopes and dreams for him,” she said.

    “As archivist of Liberal Judaism, I have not come across any other Liberal Jewish families carrying out this practice.”

    Rabbi Ash added: “The upsherin was a first in my career and the first I had heard of outside Charedi communities. Everyone I spoke to felt moved by the prayers and readings chosen by Alison and Marc.”

    After the service, guests cut a lock of Isaac’s hair. The Turners also marked the occasion by collecting money for the PJ Library and the Little Princess Trust.

    The library sends free books to Jewish children monthly. The trust makes wigs for children who have lost their hair through cancer or other illness.

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