Reform Judaism brought together experts from across the Jewish and professional spectrum for the first time to forge a new path to tackle loneliness. Around 100 delegates to the ground-breaking Combatting Loneliness and Isolation Conference were inspired to action on the growing problem, discussing isolation caused by bereavement and dementia as well as loneliness amongst younger people.
From the benefits of volunteering to the importance of dancing, and preparing ourselves for old age, attendees from around the country heard from experts including Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, Sharon Daniels, Welfare Officer at Reform Judaism and Trisha Powell, Executive Producer of Channel 4’s documentary ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’.
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, opened the conference, explaining that “loneliness comes in many forms…and we are proud to host the first conference of its kind within the British Jewish community.”
Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger, Senior Rabbi at West London Synagogue, also addressed the conference, saying that “loneliness isn’t new, it isn’t original. It’s just extremely important.”
She continued: “Nearly half of all people over 75 live alone. 9% feel trapped in their home.”
The Combatting Loneliness and Isolation Conference was part of Reform Judaism’s Communities that Care Initiative and took place at West London Synagogue on Thursday 22 March.