Re­form hails its north­ern lights



DE­VEL­OP­ING RE­FORM Ju­daism in the north and ways of shar­ing re­sources in the re­gion have been dis­cussed by more than 100 move­ment mem­bers at a gath­er­ing in north York­shire.

Eleven of Re­form’s 13 north­ern con­gre­ga­tions were rep­re­sented at the chagi­gah (cel­e­bra­tion), at which ex­am­ples of co-op­er­a­tion high­lighted in­cluded the North­ern Learn­ing House, where lay lead­ers gain ser­vice lead­ing ex­pe­ri­ence through on­line learn­ing and res­i­den­tial week­ends.

An­drew Keen, board mem­ber for the World Union for Pro­gres­sive Ju­daism, ran a work­shop on what Pro­gres­sive com­mu­ni­ties around the world are do­ing to in­no­vate in ar­eas of rit­ual, so­cial jus­tice and youth en­gage­ment.

There were also Lim­mud-style ses­sions on top­ics in­clud­ing Ju­daism and agri­cul­ture with Jewish farmer Sara Moon and a cel­e­bra­tion of the Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion cen­te­nary in­cor­po­rat­ing an Is­rael café.

In her wel­com­ing re­marks, Sarita Robin­son, the move­ment’s north­ern com­mu­nity part­ner, ob­served that “Re­form Ju­daism is un­der­pin­ning growth and well-be­ing and de­volv­ing best prac­tice across all our com­mu­ni­ties for their and our fu­ture to­gether”.

Among del­e­gates, Sherry Ash­worth of Manch­ester Re­form Syn­a­gogue said: “The cu­mu­la­tive ef­fect of be­ing to­gether with our sis­ter north­ern Re­form com­mu­ni­ties is ter­rific.

“We all felt Re­form Ju­daism in the north of Eng­land is on an up­swing. We are grow­ing in num­bers, en­thu­si­asm, learn­ing and com­mit­ment.”

Par­tic­i­pants young and older

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