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Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner to step down

Reform Judaism today announced that Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner will be stepping down from her role as Senior Rabbi. Rabbi Janner-Klausner has been the national movement’s representative since 2012 and has revolutionised the image and impact of Reform Judaism on the Jewish communal, national and international stage.

The movement’s annual dinner, which takes place virtually on 15th October, will be an opportunity to celebrate Rabbi Laura’s successes in her role.

Rabbi Janner-Klausner will remain in post until 1st October.

Reform Judaism will now take a period of time to review and consult before announcing its intentions.

Dear member,

It is with a mixture of sadness and anticipation that I am writing to inform you that Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner is stepping down from her role as Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism after nine excellent years.

We are so blessed to have had Rabbi Laura serving our movement with tremendous energy, warmth and integrity. She will be starting a PhD in Digital Theology at Durham University and will be training leaders in resilience, especially in times of crisis. We would like to support Rabbi Laura in studying for her PhD and so she will be leaving Reform Judaism in time to start the academic year.

Under Rabbi Laura’s leadership, she has transformed Reform Judaism. We are now acknowledged major players in debates of national importance, standing up for our values on issues that matter – refugees; anti-Semitism; LGBT+; progressive Zionism. From our leading efforts on the campaign for equal marriage and our front line role standing up for refugees, I know that her work has made Britain better. The movement, with its outstanding rabbinic and cantorial leadership, is well placed to build on this success.

In helping us to stand up for others, Rabbi Laura has also enabled us to improve ourselves. Our creative and determined response to the pandemic has shown how strong we are as a united, innovative and compassionate national movement.

There will be opportunities to celebrate Rabbi Laura’s successes, including at our annual di

nner in October, and I hope you will all join me in wishing her behatzlacha (good luck) and mazel tov.

Despite the coronavirus, I am sure we will find ways of saying l’hitraot – see you soon, to each other.

Warm regards,

Geoffrey Marx

Dear Reform member,

I have had a wonderful experience serving our communities, my rabbinic and cantorial colleagues and working with a tremendous team at Reform Judaism. A highlight of my role has been visiting every one of our communities across the UK and I have learnt so much from our diverse congregations. I feel very blessed indeed!

I will be starting my PhD in Digital Theology at Durham University – yes, that really is a thing! I will be looking at the experience of Jewish young adults who are involved in online communities and seeing how this impacts on their perception and participation in our in-person community activities. I am also going to be training leaders in resilience, especially in times of crisis.

Very kindly, Reform Judaism is enabling me to leave in order to start the academic year in October.

I will be in touch again before my final day in October, and remain committed to my role as Senior Rabbi for the next few months, particularly during this challenging time.

Warm regards,

Rabbi Laura


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