Progressive Judaism’s rabbis and members came out in force at the weekend for the AJEX Remembrance Parade and Ceremony.
Taking place at The Cenotaph, the theme for this year was ‘Side by Side’ – inviting people of all ages, right across the community to march, walk or watch, side by side, in honour of the thousands of Jewish people who fought for our freedom.
Rabbi Rebecca Birk represented both the Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors and Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors.
Rabbi Rebecca – pictured with her uncle Edward Green, who is wearing her great-grandfather’s medals – described the ceremony as “so truly moving”.
She added: “Standing at the AJEX Parade on behalf of both of our movements was particularly poignant this year. Together, people from across our entire Jewish community marked decades of solemnly building Jewish-British connections and the sacrifices made.”
Others at the event included Rabbi Alexandra Wright, Rabbi Aaron Goldstein and Rabbi Nathan Godleman.
Rabbi Nathan of the South London Liberal Synagogue, pictured with Alyth Reform youth leader and RAF Cadet Staff Sergeant Sam Aleksander, is a Chaplain in the Royal Naval Reserve.
At the ceremony, he joined Rabbi Emily Rosenzweig – an American Reform rabbi and US Navy chaplain on secondment to the Royal Navy – and the Sephardi Community’s Senior Rabbi Joseph Dweck in laying a wreath in memory of Jewish chaplains who have served in HM Armed Forces.
He said: “It was an honour to be involved in this year’s commemoration – as the Royal Navy’s first rabbi and, I believe, the first Progressive rabbi in uniform since Leslie Edgar of The Liberal Jewish Synagogue in the Second World War.”
Other Progressive Jews given honours at the event included Fiona Hancock, of East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue, who was made a standard bearer at the parade.