Woodford Liberal Synagogue to host first ever LGBT Mitzah Day event

PUBLISHED: 11:46 09 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:46 09 November 2016

Woodford Liberal Synagogue Rabbi Richard Jacobi.

Woodford Liberal Synagogue Rabbi Richard Jacobi.


A South Woodford synagogue will host the first ever Mitzvah Day event with an LGBT focus.

On Mitzvah Day weekend – November 26 and 27 – residents and members of the congregation will attend Woodford Liberal Synagogue, in Marlborough Road, dressed in rainbow colours for a special service.

The unique event will be to support Keshet UK, a Jewish charity which promotes education and aims to eliminate discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jews.

The service will also include liberal Judaism’s Twilight People prayer, to honour the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs on November 20.

Joint headteacher at the synagogue’s religion school Candy Parfitt said: “Our community will be using Mitzvah Day as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate inclusion.

“We will be highlighting the things that make us different are beautiful, and can bring us together, when we take the time to learn about each other.”

After the service, members old and young will decorate plant pots in rainbow colours, which will then be taken to brighten up care homes in South Woodford and Wanstead.

Candy continued: “We will be spreading this message of bringing people together by bringing a splash of colour to Redbridge, as the days inevitably get darker and greyer for winter.”

Woodford Liberal Synagogue’s Rabbi Richard Jacobi said: “Liberal Judaism is committed to inclusion and community, and we are proud to be promote the Biblical teaching that we are all b’etzelem elohim (made in the image of God) with our Mitzvah day activities.”

The synagogue’s congregation will also hold its annual Mitzvah Day food drive, collecting non-perishable items to support homeless and vulnerable people in Redbridge.

Mitzvah Day 2016, which takes place on November 27, will see more than 40,000 volunteers in Britain and 20 other countries giving their time, not their money, to make a difference to the community around them.

The literal translation of Mitzvah is commandment in Jewish law, but it also means a good deed.

This year, more than ever, Mitzvah Day is focused on building bridges and bringing people of all faiths, and none, together.

For the rest of the faiths news see page 26.

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