Liberals reaching Gold standard


Speakers at Liberal Judaism's Day of Celebration urged their audience to get more involved in Israeli politics.

Rabbi Miri Gold - the poster girl of the fight to recognise non-Orthodox rabbis in Israel - and Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Centre, stressed the importance of fighting for religious pluralism and human rights in Israel.

In conversation with Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich, Rabbi Gold said that support from the UK had helped in her battle to have her salary paid by the Israeli government, as well as in the continuing struggle for equality for non-Orthodox strands of Judaism.

"I remind myself that hope is a mitzvah, a commandment, and one which sustains me when times get rough."

Three hundred people from more than 30 communities attended the event at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John's Wood.

They also heard from speakers including Reut Michaeli, CEO of Israel's Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, UK Liberal rabbis, outgoing Liberal Judaism chair Lucian Hudson and representatives of a range of Anglo-Jewish organisations.

The Liberal Academy of Film and Torah Award was presented to Gloucestershire Liberal Jewish Community, whose cheder won the short film contest on the topic of "A Day in the Life of Israel".

Rabbi Rich said the event showed "Liberal Judaism at its best. A sizeable but friendly crowd came together to discuss an issue, the Israel-diaspora relationship, that can be divisive and controversial, but which we all agree needs to be examined".

There was also a programme of activities for children.

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