York Liberal Jewish Community held the first ever Liberal Shabbat morning service in Leeds, last Saturday (22nd April).
In previous years, the Leeds Jewish Housing Association had invited Masorti, Reform and Orthodox Jewish Groups from within the City to worship in their ample premises (MAZCC). This year, the York Liberals – who have recently become members of the neighbouring Leeds Jewish Rep Council – were invited to join them.
Leading the service, which was attended by over forty people, was Student Rabbi Deborah Blausten, who is looking after the York community this year. She said: “This was such a lovely Shabbat. The atmosphere was wonderful and it was something really special to be part of.”
LJRC president, Laurence Saffer, said that he aimed to ensure that the voice of all parts of the Leeds Jewish community “continues to be loud and proud.” He personally welcomed to the service members from York who travelled by train and car with their Sefer Torah and Siddurim, as well as YLJC members who live in and around Leeds, and others from within the city curious to see how the Liberals “do it.”
The only constraint placed upon the service leaders was to finish on time, to allow members of all four groups to mingle over Kiddush.
Commenting afterwards, Vice-Chair of York Liberal Jewish Community, Lee Carter, said: “There was a great atmosphere at MAZCC and we really look forward to being a part of other celebratory events in Leeds in the not too distant future. We particular enjoyed the opportunity to relax over lunch later with our members, the Nuuman family, who are now settled in Leeds in a LJHA house, close to the Jewish school which daughter Yara attends.”