Liberal Judaism began in the 19th Century in Britain and was formed by Claude Montefiore, Lily Montagu and Israel Mattuck. Liberal Judaism continues to be dynamic and questioning, and offers an authentic and modern approach to Judaism. The Movement is committed to helping its members embark on their personal and spiritual Jewish journeys. Liberal Jews come from a range of backgrounds. Many were members of Orthodox synagogues or were unaffiliated. Some are refugees or from immigrant backgrounds. Today Liberal Jews may be the children or grandchildren of established Liberal Jewish families. Some have chosen Liberal Judaism rather than Orthodox or Reform, others are Jews by choice who have found acceptance within Liberal Judaism.

All are united in finding a home within Liberal Judaism and contribute to Liberal Judaism’s rich and varied heritage.


I grew up in Golders Green in London. And my parents married in 1952 at the United synagogue and my dad was quite religious. And my mum had no religion whatsoever. I mean, she was Jewish, but she had no upbringing in Judaism. So they decided to compromise and the compromise was Liberal Judaism. So I grew up going to the LJS. I went to cheder there, to the religion school and felt very much part of that community.

Rachel Goldhill


This episode explores the theme of family background and finding Liberal Judaism

In this series you will hear the voices of Liberal Jews as they share their experiences, views and visions.

This first episode explores participants’ family background and how they encountered Liberal Judaism. It includes some of the stories about where they came from and the personal appeal of Liberal Judaism. As you will hear, Liberal Jews come from many places; some are refugees or immigrants, some are born into Liberal Jewish families, others are Jews by choice. All are united in finding a home within Liberal Judaism.

Following Lily Montagu’s personal legacy, they all contribute to Liberal Judaism’s rich and varied heritage.

You can read a transcript of the podcast HERE

To download or share all the podcasts in this series go to


Anna Wilson shares the story of her background in Moscow and her personal journey to Liberal Judaism.
Beverley Taylor remembers her Orthodox uprbringing in South Africa and introduction to Liberal Judaism in the UK through her husband.

Cecily Gale shares her journey to Liberal Judaism and process of conversion with Rabbi Rosenberg.

Lina Fagerman shares her move from Orthodox to Liberal Judaism.


In my youth, I was a refugee from Germany. I came to England when I was fifteen. I became a nurse and then married and set up a family. I’m a Progressive Jew and I am very happy living in Birmingham, because it gives me a lot of possibilities, even in old age, to still become active. And I do a lot of work for the U3A and of course for my Progressive Judaism in the synagogue.

Ruth Shire