Fifteen years to the day since he joined Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue), Rabbi Josh Levy this week said farewell to the community to take up his new role as CEO of the Movement for Reform Judaism. He’ll now be working closely with Liberal Judaism CEO Rabbi Charley Baginsky as they spearhead a new Progressive Jewish movement in the UK.
During his time at Alyth, Rabbi Josh led clergy colleagues, the professional and staff teams and many committed lay leaders through several periods of transition and change, and steered the community through the challenges of the pandemic.
At a celebratory Erev Shabbat, a range of speeches from former and current chairs of the synagogue praised Rabbi Josh’s care, compassion, respect, learning and love for both the community and the wider Progressive family.
He said: “The celebration last Shabbat of my time at Alyth was deeply moving for me and my family. Alyth has been a huge part of my life over the last 15 years. I am grateful to the colleagues and lay partners with whom I have worked, and am very proud that we leave Alyth in such strong shape for the future.
“I am sad to be leaving this role, and excited by the new challenge ahead and the exciting vision for Progressive Judaism moving forwards.”
To mark his years of service the Alyth Trustees considered what gift to present him with and he said the best present would be for donations to the Alyth Building Project. The fund to mark his leaving has now raised £30,000.
Rabbi Josh will now take on a role that will transform the voice and standing of Progressive Judaism within British Jewry. He, his wife Jude and their two children will continue to be members at Alyth and he has been offered the honorary title of Rabbi Emeritus so that he can continue to be a source of support and wisdom for the community.
Rabbi Josh Levy and Rabbi Charley Baginsky