ELELS helps Liberal Judaism raise record amount

MEMBERS of East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue (ELELS) raised more than £6,000 for Liberal Judaism in a 36-hour online fundraising campaign.

The community’s efforts helped the national movement raise the most money in its history – bringing in £275,000 from more than 1,000 contributors.

On the occasion of its 120th anniversary, Liberal Judaism has so far raised £160,000 through the online crowdfunder, with an additional £115,000 pledged to match donations over the rest of this year.

The money raised will be used for a series of initiatives to build Liberal Judaism for the future, with many focussed on supporting youth.

These include a new online hub to support communities and individuals, a Progressive Jewish Chaplain in universities, a social justice department and b’nei mitzvah and Kabbalat Torah programming for smaller communities who do not have a rabbi.

The raised funds will also support families in need by providing bursaries for children wanting to attend LJY-Netzer youth camps and events, as well as sending Shabbat boxes to elderly members of the community living in non-Jewish care homes.

Celebrating the figure, Liberal Judaism CEO Rabbi Charley Baginsky said: “This has been an incredible achievement – five times more than we have ever raised before. What makes me most proud is that we had a whole army of people, from Essex and all over the country, giving small amounts.

Rabbi Charley Baginsky (second from right) and Liberal Judaism staff during the fundraiser

“This was about raising money to do more, but that has not been the bit that has really affected me. It has been the number of people who engaged, the stories I heard, the messages I received and the love that has surrounded us. I think we really might be bringing Judaism home.”

ELELS had four Ambassadors raising money during the crowdfunder, including Ruth Seager – who is also chair of the national movement.

She said: “Liberal Judaism has completed its most successful fundraising event. Ever. I am proud of our ELELS and LJ Ambassadors and grateful to our donors. They will enable us to bring Judaism home to even more people.”

The movement will now use the next year to try and reach a total of £500,000 raised so it can fully implement all of its plans.

Fundraising events now planned include a nationwide sponsored bike ride on Sunday 11 September and a President’s 120th Anniversary Ball.

The Liberal Judaism crowdfunding page also remains open. You can donate at https://campaigns.causematch.com/LJ.

Liberal Judaism Chair Ruth Seager speaking at a recent event – picture by Yakir Zur



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