Approximately 120 Jews from as far afield as Cumbria, Northumbria, Nottingham, Durham and Manchester gathered in York today for the first combined service of Northern Liberal Jewish Communities.
Addressing the congregation, Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi of Liberal Judaism, announced the Movement’s Board’s intention to established a Northern Communities Alliance comprising Durham, Edinburgh, Lancashire and Cumbria, Lincoln, Manchester and York.
He said that he hoped the Alliance would hold Northern events and conferences and share knowledge, skills and resources across the region. He announced that the Board would make providing professional support for the Alliance a priority for fundraising.
The service was co-led by Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich (Nottingham Liberal Synagogue), Student Rabbi Deborah Blausten (York Liberal Jewish Community) and Rabbi Robert Ash (Lancashire and Cumbria Liberal Jewish Community).
The congregation burst into spontaneous applause when it was announced that York members, Sinan and Dena Nuuman and their children, Yara and Liza, from Iraq – who have been seeking asylum in the UK – have been granted leave to remain.
Chair of the York Liberal Jewish Community, Ben Rich, said:
“I anticipate that this was one of the largest Liberal Jewish gatherings in the country this weekend. What an amazing thought that it took place in York where, less than three years ago, there was no community.
“Liberal Judaism – because of its inclusivity and openness to all – is truly on the march in the North of England.”