Liberal Judaism champions social justice. In recent years, Liberal Jews have been involved in lobbying Parliament about a number of campaigns, including the living wage, child refugees and LGBTQI+ rights. In recent years several communities have raised funds to provide homes for Syrian refugee families. Rabbis and members have visited refugee camps and lobbied British and European government to bring child refugees to safety. Many of the activities are in partnership with other faith groups and non- faith groups and look beyond the needs of the Jewish community. Across the UK, Liberal Jewish communities run soup kitchens, coffee mornings, drop in centres and toddler groups for those suffering from food poverty as well as asylum seekers, refugees, the elderly, isolated and people with mental health issues.
In this exhibition section, Liberal Jews debate to what extent social action is an integral part of being Jewish, and share some of their experiences in the search for social justice, locally and globally.
“I came to my Judaism through social justice. I worked for liberal Judaism for I guess, a couple of years. I ended up applying for a job that was working as an organiser with citizens UK with two of their member institutions, and one of them was liberal Judaism. So I became a liberal Judaism social justice worker for a couple of years, which meant that I spent some time in the Montagu Centre in the office, and also that I visited a lot of LJ communities and I had one project that I was involved with, which was the Abraham’s Tent project with South London liberal, which was a project that South London Liberal had been very involved in campaigning for Lambeth Council to admit Syrian refugees to the council. And when Rabbi Janet Darley retired, the synagogue decided in her honour to convert a flat in the building. The building is an old school building. They’ve converted a disused caretakers flat in the building to be a home for a Syrian refugee family.
So we had a family arrive and they’ve just celebrated their one year anniversary of arriving in the UK. And I look at Lily Montagu, and the work that she did when she was when liberal Judaism was first being founded the work that she did in the East end with her Girls Club, the way that she set it up the way that she organised it, how responsive she was to sort of meeting the needs and being relevant to and engaging with the concerns of the people who were coming to her community. And I think of her as a community organiser, really I see her as a community organiser and I see that spirit that desire for relevance and engagement and meaning and, and also a sense of responsibility to people who might be excluded or left out or disengaged as, as a really positive role model for Liberal Judaism.“
This episode explores the theme of social Justice
Liberal Judaism champions social justice. In recent years, Liberal Jews have been involved in lobbying parliament about a number of campaigns. In this episode Liberal Jews share some their experiences in the search for social justice, locally and globally. Many of the activities described here are in partnership with other faith groups and non-faith groups and look beyond the needs of the Jewish community. At the same time participants debate whether the fight for social justice has been at the expense of Jewish learning and worship.
To what extent is social action an integral part of being Jewish? Should Liberal Jews be involved with politics?
You can read a transcript of the podcast HERE
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“ Liberal Judaism is about making a contribution to the society we live in. Our actions should make a difference to the lives of those around us, healing our world. Liberal Judaism’s enduring commitment to social justice makes me immensely proud. “