The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, known as the LJS, was founded in 1911. It is the oldest and largest of forty Liberal Jewish communities in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Holland and Denmark. Its early years were distinguished by the leadership of the ‘Three Ms’: the Anglo-Jewish scholar, Claude G. Montefiore (1858-1938), Lily Montagu (1873-1963), whose spiritual influence on the early Liberal Jewish movement (known as the Jewish Religious Union), was considerable and Rabbi Dr Israel Mattuck (1883-1954), the first Rabbi of the LJS, a fiery and eloquent preacher.
Spiritual integrity, musical excellence, education and community care have been at the core of the LJS since its inception. Services are conducted in Hebrew and English, music is drawn from a wide variety of sources both ancient and contemporary. Learning takes place throughout the community, beginning with Tiny Tots & the LJS Nursery School and continuing through Rimon Religion School through to an active and stimulating adult education programme at The Learning Circle. The synagogue’s community care programme looks after the senior members of our congregation, those with mental health issues, the bereaved and those who are lonely. It also reaches out beyond the Jewish community to work with people of all faiths through the Out & About Club and the LJS Drop-in for Asylum Seeker Families.
The full story of the LJS can be read in Pam Fox’s book, A Place to Call My Jewish Home: Memories of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue 1911-2011.