Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger of West London Synagogue; student rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen, Rabbi Deborah Kahn-Harris, Principal of Leo Baeck College and Rabbi Danny Smith of Edgware & District Reform Synagogue all spoke and led prayers.
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner addressed the congregation reading from ‘Day Trips to Eternity’ by Rabbi Lionel; Rabbi Jeffrey Newman read Rabbi Lionel’s contribution to the Days of Awe Machzor and Rabbi Mark Solomon read from Rabbi Lionel’s 1981 lecture ‘Godly and Gay’.
The service included the screening of the documentary, ‘Encounter with Rabbi Lionel Blue’ and singing from the choir of Edgware & District Reform Synagogue.
The evening also saw the announcement of a new award dedicated to Rabbi Lionel’s memory recognising efforts towards peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Rabbi Danny Smith said: “It was good to gather and give thanks for Lionel’s life and personality. We wanted to make this ceremony something that would have made him happy, and I think the event achieved that. I am especially pleased that we had a 20 minute film of Lionel speaking of his life, visiting a monastery and cooking a meal for all the monks. Lionel’s students, friends and colleagues remembered a remarkable teacher who inspired us with his wisdom, warmth, humanity and humour”.