Liberal, Masorti and Reform unite in social action
Friday, 27 July 2012Liberal Judaism, Masorti Judaism and the Movement for Reform Judaism have announced plans for their first ever joint appointment. All three organisations will contribute to the employment of a Community Organiser working with Jewish communities and in the London Borough of Barnet.
The appointment will be made in collaboration with Citizens UK, the country’s largest diverse and independent civic alliance for social justice. The Community Organiser will join the Citizens UK team of 35 talented Community Organisers pioneering a new form of civic action and political change, and will benefit from training by leading practitioners in the UK and US. They will introduce to the three movements the hugely successful US model of community organising, a process through which communities are empowered to take charge of their own lives and change for the better.
The appointment builds on the pioneering work of all three movements with Citizens UK, particularly in Finchley where each movement has a thriving congregation and where - in collaboration with four other local faith organisations - an emergency night shelter for the homeless was set up. The shelter’s location rotated between each place of worship and was staffed by clergy and volunteers from across the faiths.
This represents an upscaling of the three movements' commitment to social action nationwide, providing the skills they need to become effective campaigners, engaging their membership and growing communities.
The successful applicant will spend one day a week with each of the sponsoring movements and two days a week with Citizens UK, developing skills to be applied across the whole Jewish community in Barnet.
The post is now being advertised and the deadline for applications is Friday 24th August.
Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism says: "This is good news for all sorts of reasons. Our enhanced working with the Masorti and Reform movements is clearly of value to all of us, and our partnerships with Citizens UK is something that Liberal Judaism has valued for some time. The experience and skills which Citizens UK can bring to Liberal Judaism and its social justice work bode well for practical expressions of our prophetic mission."
Matt Plen, Chief Executive of Masorti Judaism says: "Community Organising brings together diverse groups to work for the common good. This initiative proves it can bridge the denominational divide within the Jewish community just as effectively as between faith and other groups. I'm proud that last year several Masorti institutions became founder members of North London Citizens. I'm just as delighted to be working together with Citizens UK and with our Reform and Liberal colleagues to promote our shared values of citizenship, community and social justice. We look forward to being able to include colleagues from the Orthodox community in this exciting venture in the near future."
Ben Rich, Chief Executive of the Movement for Reform Judaism says: "A key value of Reform Judaism is engaging with the outside world, playing a full part in the wider community. This initiative will help us to do that, while at the same time equipping our communities with the skills they need to reach out to members and grow and develop their own activities."
Neil Jameson, Director of Citizens UK, says: "This exciting new post will help realise the great potential for Jewish communities to work alongside other faiths for social justice. We are delighted that the Liberal, Masorti and Reform movements are working together with us to use community organising to develop leadership, strengthen congregations and do social action."
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