Posted Oct 11th, 2019

This Sunday evening marks the start of the seven-day Jewish festival Sukkot. The Hebrew word Sukkot translates as ‘tabernacles’ or ‘booths’ and commemorates the 40-year period during which the Jewish people were wandering in the desert, living nomadically in frail huts[1]. Read more

A reflection on Yom Kippur

Posted Oct 2nd, 2019

The High Holy Days and its process of teshuvah: returning or atonement is, of course, first and foremost relevant to the individual as (s)he reflects on the vagaries of the past year.  It is true there is much good in each one of us but we become poignantly aware of time and talent wasted, of being so much less than we know we might have been.

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Yom Kippur and the Importance of Unity

Posted Oct 2nd, 2019

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), for many Jews, is the most important day in the Jewish calendar. It is embodied by prayer and fasting with the ultimate aim of repentance. Read more

Reflecting on the 2019 Yad Vashem Seminar

Posted Oct 1st, 2019

The 2019 Yad Vashem Holocaust educational seminar personified participative intercultural transformation. What does that mean?  Well: jump-in and be part of the discussion, enjoy the fun and laughter, and the sheer gentle kindness of each other, whilst pausing in awed surprise at our genuine differences from each other. Read more

Rosh Hashanah

Posted Sep 26th, 2019

This Sunday evening marks the start of the two day Jewish New Year festival Rosh Hashanah. The Hebrew word Rosh Hashanah translates as “the head of the year” and commemorates the anniversary of the world’s creation and the beginning of humanity[1]. Read more

Tisha B’av

Posted Aug 8th, 2019

This Sunday marks one of the saddest days on the Jewish calendar Tisha B’av. The Hebrew word Tisha B’av translates as the 9th day of the Hebrew month Av, a date which throughout Jewish history has come to manifest tragedy and disaster[1]. Read more

Good and Bad News: a sermon after visiting Israel-Palestine

Posted Jul 17th, 2019

Based on a sermon delivered at West London Synagogue by Rabbi David Mitchell*


What do you want first, the good news of the bad news? I have good news which should reassure you and bad news which should trouble you. I’m afraid that you’re going to get both, but which would you prefer first?

(The congregation chose to hear the bad news first)

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How do Christians see themselves in their new relationship with Jews?

Posted Jul 17th, 2019

A keynote lecture delivered by CCJ Chair, Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave OBE, at the International Council of Christians and Jews conference 2019


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Interfaith Group on March of the Living

Posted May 10th, 2019

As one of a dozen senior faith leaders, I took part in a pioneering interfaith delegation to this year’s March of the Living in Poland.  The trip is an intensive 5-day tour of the sites of the Nazi Holocaust – Warsaw, Kracow and the death camps of Majdanek, Belzec and Auschwitz.  It culminates in a walk on Yom HaShoah (the Jewish day of Holocaust Remembrance) by 15,000 people from Auschwitz to Read more

Passover: how we think about the Exodus

Posted Apr 12th, 2019

The Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, begins next Friday evening. Passover commemorates the Exodus from Egypt, and the journey of the Israelites from slavery to freedom. During the festival, Jews experience both of those extremes. We recall our ancestors’ oppression in Egypt by eating matzah, unleavened bread, for the duration of the festival. Read more