The City of York – once an important medieval Jewish centre and site of a notorious massacre of its Jewish population – is to see the return of its first resident rabbi since the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290.
Appointed to serve the thriving York Liberal Jewish Community, founded in 2014, Rabbi Dr. Elisheva Salamo from California will live within the city walls, which according to Jewish urban myth was banned until 1984.
She has previously served as a Rabbi, teacher and youth leader in the US, South Africa and, most recently, Switzerland, at the Liberal Jewish Community of Geneva. An advocate of interfaith dialogue and social action, she is excited to partner with members and others to develop a yet more vibrant, meaningful and joyous approach to Jewish practice.
York Liberal Jewish Community is part of the progressive movement within Judaism, which is egalitarian and welcoming of those that identify as Jewish regardless of their Jewish story.
For the previously member-led community, Rabbi Elisheva’s appointment marks a major step forward in its development. It is looking forward to serving Jews across the region as well as welcoming back to Judaism those who may previously have felt excluded or simply been unable to access services, Jewish education or pastoral support.
Rabbi Elisheva says:
“Helping to rebuild what was once one of England’s most vibrant Jewish communities – and which has such great potential – is an honour and a privilege. I look forward to meeting our current members and anyone with an interest in a Jewish journey.”
Co-founder of YLJC, and head of the Rabbinic search committee, Ben Rich, adds:
“With York’s unique history, this is a very significant moment not just for local Jews but nationally and internationally. I hope that the whole Jewish community and its allies across the globe will want to help us on the next step of this incredible journey to bring Judaism back to this ancient and most beautiful of cities.”
Rabbi Elisheva’s first formal engagement will be to lead the community’s Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) services, during the Jewish high holy day period, from the 15th to the 25thSeptember. All are invited to join the community for her first service with details available via their website, www.jewsinyork.org.uk.
Rabbi Elisheva is initially working part time. The community is also inviting contributions to help raise the funds necessary to employ her full time by the end of the year.
To support York Liberal Jewish Community, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a discreet discussion on how you might contribute or check out their soon to come justgiving page.
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