British Jews “should not feel besieged”, BBC presenter Nick Robinson told more than 200 guests at Reform Judaism’s annual dinner in central London.
Applauding the work of Reform Judaism, he referred to his encounters on the Today programme with its senior rabbi, Laura Janner-Klausner. He also highlighted the movement’s engagement with young people with mental health problems, support for the elderly and outreach to Muslim communities as “the best answer for people who want to know what it means to be Jewish”. Talking about his German refugee grandparents, Mr Robinson confided that his Jewish heritage was becoming ever more important to him.
Discussing antisemitism, the broadcaster urged his audience to “always fight for the truth”. Britain remained "one of the least antisemitic countries in the world” and Jews should recognise that “hatred, anger and fear affects many, many people beyond the Jewish community. We must ask ourselves what we can do to reach out to others – as Reform Judaism does."
Movement chair Geoffrey Marx said: “Reform Judaism is a community of communities, a multiplier for each congregation, creating and delivering Reform Judaism in all its diversity.”
His message of partnership was echoed by Jennifer Jankel of North West Surrey Synagogue in making the appeal: “I cannot possibly imagine how we would live open, generous and meaningful lives without Reform Judaism," she said. "Reform Judaism sustains, strengthens and is successful”.