Rituals & Worship Watch


Our preachers no longer confined themselves to dissertations on dogma, but applied the teachings of Judaism to the live problems of the day, whether personal, social or political. Religion was lifted for us out of the communal record office and placed in the big thoroughfares of life.

Lily Montagu

(The Faith of a Jewish Woman, 1943 p.32)

Spotlight On

Rabbi Margaret Jacobi reflects on the inspirational example of Lily Montagu and the indivisible nature of social justice and Judaism. Rabbi Margaret shares some of the social action projects of her community in Birmingham , reaching out beyond the Jewish community.

Rabbi Rachel Montagu recalls Lily’s work in bringing German Rabbis to safety at the start of the Second World War.

Mary Simmons pays tribute to her mother, Margaret Rigal, who founded the 35’s Womens Campaign for Soviet Jewry.

Tamara Joseph talks about her social justice work for Liberal Judaism, including the Abrahams Tent project at South London Liberal Synagogue.

Gillian Dawson discussed how Wessex Liberal Jewish community helped provide a home for a refugee family.


I think, a lot of my rabbinic colleagues who’ve been involved, and a lot of other synagogues that have held various events and have supported the refugees in various ways. Kingston was one of the first – again, one of the first synagogues to do a sukkah event, and got commitment from the council at that time to resettle children. So, you know, there’s been a lot going. Liberal Judaism really does feel like my home, because it’s taken a lead in a lot of other areas as well. So, Liberal Judaism is a living wage employer, and synagogues were inspired by that as well, to become living wage employers, so several of them have. And just I think the continual work that I see going on in different places, the congregations which have set up drop-in centres, really. Like, there’s one in the LJS, they’ve had a drop-in centre for refugees, who are able to come and get clothing and get advice on their situations and things like that, continued to be very inspiring and really continue to make me feel like this is the movement where I belong. And maybe even if everybody doesn’t talk about it, there’s just an awful lot going on behind the scenes, a lot of people working behind the scenes, both members – every time we’ve had actions outside of Parliament, you know, I’ve been seeing members – different congregations being represented there by members, and by rabbis who have been there, standing out there, outside of Parliament and – and saying, “We need justice for refugees.”

Rabbi Janet Darley