Liberal and Reform rabbis attend first joint meeting since announcement of merger plan

Rabbis say the prospect of a unified movement is 'a dream come true'


Over 60 Reform and Liberal synagogue rabbis attended the first joint meeting since the two movements announced their plan to unify.

More than 30 members of the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors and the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors gathered in London, with a similar number joining the informal get-together via Zoom from all parts of the country.

Assembly co-chair Rabbi Kathleen Middleton said there was “a tremendous sense of excitement in the room as the rabbinic bodies came together to discuss the future of our new joined movement.

“We all agree that the time is right for this moment and we look forward to making it a reality.”

Conference co-chair Rabbi René Pfertzel added: “The prospect of building a stronger Progressive movement, bringing together a third of the British Jewish community, is a dream come true for many of us.

“Progressive Judaism has so much to offer to the world and I am very much looking forward to the next steps.”

The meeting was addressed by Rabbis Josh Levy and Charley Baginsky, the respective Reform and Liberal CEOs, who are leading the unification project.

They said it had been “an incredibly exciting and creative day. We were inspired by our colleagues and the potential of this collaboration. It was the first of many future meetings where we will work with the clergy and lay leaders of both movements to develop Progressive Judaism.”

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