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Denominationalism in UK Jewry

Denominationalism in UK Jewry

JPR's 'Community Futures' initiative, which brings together some of the country's top Jewish educational thinkers, engaged in a thought-provoking debate about denominationalism with Masorti CEO, Matt Plan.

The British Jewish community is comprised of multiple denominational movements, which have come into major conflict with one another on occasion in the past few decades. Nevertheless, significant political steps have been taken to create a more harmonious cross-communal environment, most notably the signing of the Stanmore Accords in 1998. Furthermore, several flagship educational initiatives have taken root in Britain in recent years which indicate that, in parts of the community at least, the spirit of cross-communalism is becoming a cultural norm.

Plen was eager to investigate how cross-communalism impacts on the denominational structures of the community, and whether it points to a diminishing of the importance of separate movements in the future, or the opposite - an intensification of their contrasting positions. Certainly, while new Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has stated that the "unity of the Jewish people is of enormous importance", the changing denominational profile of the British Jewish community suggests that any desire to work closely with other movements may prove to be a considerable challenge.

JPR at the BSA - 18 Jun 2013
Denominationalism in UK Jewry - 05 Jun 2013