The planned merger of the Movement for Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism is a rare example in our community of sense triumphing over turf.
All too often, organisations which perform almost exactly the same function cling to a separate existence for no reason other than sentiment and self-preservation.
This merger is, of course, slightly different, since it involves two religious bodies with different — albeit marginally so — doctrines and outlooks.
Crucially, they are clear that individual synagogues will not be merging and will remain free to be different; it is important there is a breadth of choice for the community.
The real purpose — rightly so — is to share so-called “back office” functions, both in administration and, more significantly, in representation.
The example set by the Movement for Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism should be followed by others. The long-running “will they, won’t they?” saga of the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council merger has become as much a part of communal life as chicken soup. It deserves serious consideration.
What about the United Synagogue and the Federation? Similarly, charities which perform much the same role need to put aside their differences and come together.
Unity is, after all, needed now more than ever in our community, and this would be a good place to start.