Redbridge area Progressive shuls vote for merger


Following in the footsteps of Redbridge Orthodox communities, the two local Liberal congregations have voted overwhelmingly to amalgamate.

In parallel EGMs on Sunday, members of Bet Tikvah (Barkingside) and Woodford Liberal synagogues supported the dissolution of their existing shuls and the formation of a new single congregation.

The unification will take effect from January 1, creating a community of around 700 members which will be led by rabbis Richard Jacobi and David Hulbert.

Rabbi Danny Rich, Liberal Judaism's senior minister, said the merger offered "a fantastic opportunity to bring together the strengths and resources" of the two congregations.

It was "a statement of our confidence in, and desire to serve the Jewish community of Redbridge, Essex and beyond".

In the votes, 86 per cent of Bet Tikvah members and 81 per cent of Woodford Liberal congregants backed unification.

Consultations will take place over a name for the new community. Services will be held in both current synagogues for at least 18 months while options for a joint building are investigated.

For Woodford Liberal, chairman Jonny Hurst was excited by the prospect of being part of "one of the largest Progressive Jewish communities in the country, led by two highly respected rabbis.

"I genuinely believe the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts, creating a stronger and more secure community, without losing the identity and values which we have both developed and cherished over many decades."

Gary Freedman, his Bet Tikvah counterpart, felt the decision would benefit Liberal Jews in Redbridge, "especially the growing number of families", and Liberal Judaism as a whole.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive