Liberal Judaism raised £12,000 at a fundraising concert, a first in the movement’s 115-year history.
The evening saw world-renowned musicians Abigail and David Dolan, and Thomas Carroll receive a standing ovation for their programme of classical music and improvisation.
As well as ticket sales and donations on the night, a number of guests signed up as Friends of Liberal Judaism, a new scheme under which people can commit to a monthly direct debit to suit their budget.
The new fundraising scheme is centred on the theme “a home for your Jewish story”, which aims to symbolise how the movement welcomes those of all backgrounds, gender, sexuality, belief and ideology.
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships, hailed the concert as demonstrating a shift in how the movement raises money, in order to safeguard its future and help “more people find a home for their own Jewish story”.
She said: “While many other charities have made huge inroads in the field of fundraising, we are taking the first steps towards a new culture within Liberal Judaism.
“We have achieved great things and in recent history we have grown our communities. However, we are ambitious; there is more we believe we can be doing to ensure that not only does Liberal Judaism live up to its central ethic of being a vibrant, cutting edge and inclusive movement — but that we can truly be a home for everyone’s Jewish story.”
The concert was held at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood, London, where the 120-strong audience included Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, chair, and president Rabbi Danny Rich; Simon Benscher and Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein; Board of Deputies chief executive Gillian Merron and rabbis and officers from Liberal and Reform communities all over the UK.