LJ Today Page 9
Welcome to the Day of Celebration Rabbi Charley Baginsky introduces Liberal Judaism’s flagship event of the year AS YOU read this copy of lj today you are very possibly at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue for the Day of Celebration or following it on www.liberaljudaism.org or one of our social media channels. It is an interesting phenomenon that despite the size of the Liberal Jewish movement we are able to put on such expansive and well-attended conferences. Some of it is most definitely by design – we made some very conscious decisions to make our events as affordable as possible, to encourage new people and to seek attractive, inspirational speakers and topics. This year we are exceptionally excited, for example, to welcome Dame Margaret Hodge and Jean Gaffin OBE to take part in our Day of Celebration keynote conversation. Some of it is cultural. Liberal Judaism’s chair Simon Benscher states regularly that Liberal Judaism is a family first and foremost. This means that our conferences celebrate the opportunity to come together, to see old friends and to make new ones and to find new spaces to express that Liberal Judaism is the home for our Jewish stories. However, I would argue strongly that the third reason is that Liberal Judaism wants to be the space where we can have difficult conversations, where we can celebrate the multifaceted way in which
Education Hub THE FIFTH term of Liberal Judaism’s Education Hub will focus on the High Holy Days with the following classes. Sign up at www.liberaljudaism.org/education-hub Wednesday 28 August: Jonah: A good or bad example for us at this season? (Rabbi Jackie Tabick) Wednesday 4 September: Rosh Hashanah Torah Readings - Genesis 21 and 22 (Rabbi Alexandra Wright) Wednesday 11 September: The akedah: Did Abraham really do it? (Rabbi Danny Rich) Wednesday 18 September: The symbols and vocabulary of the High Holy Days (Rabbi Janet Burden) Wednesday 25 September: Travail and triumph: Maternal cries in the sounds of the shofar (Rabbi Mark Solomon) Wednesday 2 October: Yom Kippur (Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein)
we, as Liberal Jews, connect, to celebrate the fact that even challenging subjects are an essential part of our own Liberal Jewish identity. This year we are looking at the theme of Ain Ani Li Mi Li (If I am only for myself) and exploring the complex issues of care and welfare within our community. Through diverse workshops ranging from the experiences of carers to inspiring your volunteers, and from dancing for the generations to singing for the mind, we will reflect the realities that face our communities and members every day - the highs and lows, the great work and the struggles of life.
The programme is a celebration of learning from each other, a celebration of the space we, as Liberal Jews, create to hear voices that might not otherwise get heard, a celebration of facilitating difficult conversations and a celebration of the incredible efforts and innovations our congregations are involved in. The conference is not just for adults, we want to hear the voices and ideas of our younger members too. See page 11 for what’s in store for them. In our continued efforts to be as inclusive as possible, we recognise that there are those who will not be able to join us this year for the actual event. We will endeavour to put resources from the Day of Celebration on our Resource Bank website so they can be available to all. We also hope that communities reach out to our speakers for more communityspecific guidance. Plus you can keep updated via our website, Facebook page, tweets and Instagram posts. We will also be following up after the event, building on the lunchtime activity which will see us debating how we prioritise our voices in the call for social justice. Watch this space!
• Rabbi Charley Baginsky is Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships