Re­form ‘deeply wor­ried’ on funds

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY ROBYNROSEN

RE­FORM LEADERS have warned sup­port­ers about the im­pact of the re­ces­sion on ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ad­dress­ing over 200 guests at the Move­ment for Re­form Ju­daism’s an­nual din­ner in cen­tral Lon­don, move­ment head Rabbi Tony Bay­field said he was “deeply wor­ried about the re­main­der of this year and next year. We get no gov­ern­ment grants, no pub- lic fund­ing. We are en­tirely de­pen­dent upon pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als.

“Never more than now do we need you to com­mit whole­heart­edly to the fu­ture that you see.”

Re­form chair­man Stephen Moss re­ported on cost-cut­ting mea­sures, even down to the pro­vi­sion of tap, rather than bot­tled wa­ter, at the din­ner, which raised al­most £250,000.

“The last 15 months have not quite been as laid back and easy-go­ing as I was schmoozed into think­ing by my pre­de­ces­sor.

“It’s cur­rently a tough time for the char­ity sec­tor and we are keep­ing a care­ful lid on costs and re­cy­cling where we can.”

How­ever, the full house at the din­ner at the Royal In­sti­tute of Bri­tish Ar­chi­tects was a tes­ta­ment to the com­mit­ment of core sup­port­ers.

Na­tional The­atre artis­tic di­rec­tor Ni­cholas Hyt­ner was guest speaker, prais­ing the Re­form move­ment and say­ing that moder­nity and in­ter­pre­ta­tion was as rel­e­vant in re­li­gion as in the per­form­ing arts.

“We have a lot in com­mon, the world I’m part of and the great move­ment you rep­re­sent. To hon­our tra­di­tion, we look at the past al­ways with fresh eyes.”

A Manch­ester Re­form con­gre­gant in his youth, Mr Hyt­ner now de­scribes him­self as “ir­re­li­gious”.

Tak­ing the stage for Re­form: Ni­cholas Hyt­ner ( right) and Stephen Moss ( left) with din­ner guests Mor­ris Ben­tata and Rachel Kalms

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