Q. What can you never have too much of?
A. Reform Jewish learning.
The Northern communities are only too aware of this, and this year we have launched our Northern Learning House, a college without walls that provides adult education for all. Our very first programme is a shaliach tzibbur (service leading) course which commenced last September. Taught simultaneously in three different locations – Manchester, Leeds and online – the course has delivered service leading skills to twenty keen students throughout the North.
But that’s just term one. This term, we’re putting these skills into practice in a residential Shabbat with our teachers – Rabbis Debbie Young-Somers (Reform Judaism’s Community Educator) and Esther Hugenholtz and student Rabbi Kath Vardi as well as some special guests. Students will be assigned mentors to help them with a programme of personalised study too. Although a number of the students are hoping to go on to lead services in their communities, others have simply come along to increase their knowledge of services and deepen their understanding of what happens in their synagogues.
For more information about the Northern Learning House please contact Sarita Robinson, Reform Judaism’s Northern Community Partner: firstname.lastname@example.org.