Ian Luder is set to become the first Reform Jew to serve as Lord Mayor of London. He will be the first Jewish Lord Mayor of the century and only the 9th ever since the 1300s.
Alderman Luder will be admitted in a special “Service of Unity” at West London Synagogue at which he will formally become The Lord Mayor, to be held on Friday 7th November. A Shabbat morning service will then be held the next day in the Guildhall for all those Jews participating in the traditional Lord Mayor’s procession through the streets of London, which attracts thousands of well-wishers every year.
Both services will be conducted by the Lord Mayor’s chaplain, Rabbi Dr. Tony Bayfield, the Head of the Movement for Reform Judaism, who will later ride with the Lord Mayor in his coach during the procession.
Rabbi Dr. Tony Bayfield says: “It is a mark of Reform Judaism that Ian Luder is able to accept his duties as Lord Mayor without compromising his commitment to his religion. The morning service at the Guildhall is a fine example of how Jews can participate in an important civic event such as this even on Shabbat.”
Ian Luder is a partner at accountancy firm Grant Thornton UK LLP. He is also a former President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and served as a councillor on Bedford Borough Council for 23 years.
He joins fellow Reform Jew, Louise Hyams, who is currently Lord Mayor of Westminster. Lord Levene of Portsoken, the previous Jewish Lord Mayor will also attend the West London ceremony.