Several of our Community went to the LJ Biennial at the beginning of May. You may have seen if you get LJ Today that there were over 300 people there. I went over Shabbat and wished I’d gone for the whole week end! Please see www.liberaljudaism.org and the next LJ Today for details. I hope we can attend in 2016.
There was an amazing variety of activities for adults and young people – including three variations of Shabbat Morning Service. After the Services we all came together in the large conference all for the Ba’al Tefillah (lay leader) graduation. Emily, one of our members, undertook this training and was on the stage with her graduation cohort and R. Danny Rich and Lucian Hudson to receive her certificate as a lay leader.
There was learning and discussion during the rest of the day. The choice of workshops was remarkable and I found it difficult to choose which two to attend. I went to Conversion, Interfaith, Inclusivity where one aspect we discussed was whether the current liberal conversion was too onerous or just right. We concluded that it was just right. What do you think?
The second workshop I went to was Political Judaism led by R. Margaret Jacobi, whom we will meet on 1st July in Norfolk. She chose several political issues to talk about asking whether each were acceptable for a Jewish Congregation to get involved in. I think we could have engaging sessions based on any of the topics from the Biennial.
Since Emily’s graduation she’s led two more Services.
– 16th May Friday evening service, and admission to Judaism ceremony for Margot.
– 3rd June (Tuesday) Shavuot Service and study evening. We had a joint event with the other Jewish Community in Norwich. Members of both communities led one of 4 workshops.
We’ve got quite a few Services and other events over the next few months, including two new events. We look forward to seeing Members and people interested in Liberal Judaism. Both new events are important Mitzvah days. The first is Nature Conservation 6th July at Pensthorpe Nature Park. They need volunteer help in developing a new wildlife area. I’ve been reading about the decline in wildlife in this country. I also just read an article in the latest Jewish Chronicle (e-zine). The Chief Executive of Jewish Care has expressed concern about the decrease in tzedakah (charitable giving – financial and time) which is a moral obligation in Judaism. At the Biennial, R. Jonah Pesner made an inspiring keynote speech about social action. We plan to talk about social action at our Community Communication Meeting. We will have another Mitzvah Day at the OMH to continue improving the venue and in preparation for the High Holy Days and our Open Day. We will also be involved, as we were last year, in the International Mitzvah Day, which will be listed in due course. Please access other parts of this site for details of our Services and events. Please do not hesitate to contact me via this website or as noted below if you are interested.
Sarah Boosey, Chairperson
Norwich Liberal Jewish Community