Who we are
Liberal Judaism is the dynamic, cutting edge of Liberal Judaism. Made up of over 40 synagogues, nationwide, large and small, the movement links us to other communities and to the LJY Netzer Youth Movement. Liberal Judaism has been in the forefront of jewish social action for over 100 years. It sees Judaism as a force for social transformation, and was the first movement to truly welcome non-Jewish partners, children of Jewish fathers, and lesbians and gay men. Our siddur reflects these values. Yet we are not just a Liberal Judaism community! Our Kehillah is for everybody, and our members come from across the Jewish spectrum, from secular to Orthodox. We are rooted in Liberal values, however we continue to grow in all directions.
WHO WE ARE
Kehillah North London is a thriving and diverse Jewish community, based in Stoke Newington. We are proud of our inclusive, friendly and innovative approach to building a Jewish community. We particularly like the fact that we come from many different Jewish backgrounds, and that many of us are in mixed relationships. Our community and leaders include Mizrachi, Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews, Jews of Colour, Black Jews, Latinx Jews, Asian Jews, mixed-heritage Jews and their non-Jewish families and chosen families, people who were born Jewish and Jews by choice.
OUR ASPIRATIONSWe aim to create a welcoming, inspiring and creative Jewish space, where we can collectively and individually share and develop our identities and experiences as Jews living in the inner city. We organise ourselves around the spiritual, social, creative and physical needs of the community. We pride ourselves on learning, exploring new ideas and approaches, and being innovative.
There is a long history of progressive Judaism in our corner of North London. When the North London Progressive Synagogue finally closed, a small group of members and others had already started to establish a new community as they wanted to continue a local progressive community . This would be based on the traditions of the past and as well as being innovative ,welcoming, diverse – aiming to offer an inspiring and inclusive experience of Judaism relevant to the 21st century.
SOME KEY MOMENTS
There have been some key moments in the life of the community:
- 2002 – Steering group established, initial services and meetings
- 2002 – First High Holiday services
- 2003 – North London Progressive Jewish Community was formally established (constitution adopted)
- 2003 – We found a permanent home, at the Community Rooms of St Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington
- 2003 – Appointed first part-time administrator – a must!
- 2004 – Employment of our first Rabbi, Shulamit Ambalu
- 2012 – We celebrated our 10th Birthday, and chose a new Hebrew name, Kehillah North London
- 2014 – we began our Year of Innovation, so that we could try new things, work with different partners, learn from our experiences and enrich and grow the Kehillah.
- 2017- We said farewell to Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu as she left her role as Rabbi for KNL
- 2018 – Employment of Cantor Tamara Wolfson as our new Spiritual Leader
- 2020 – Cantor Tamara Wolfson leaves our community for her role as Cantor for Alyth.
- June 2020 – Rabbi Leah Jordan starts with Kehillah.
- July 2020 – Robin Samson steps down as chair and Robert Freudenthal is elected chair.
- August 2020 – racial justice group forms & starts meeting monthly
- October 2020 – 2 Black-led services for BHM, Climate Justice service
We are a registered charity (no. 1097713) with an elected leadership. Our management committee, together with our spiritual leader, administrator, wardens, service leaders and volunteers set the vision for being a diverse, dynamic, passionate and inclusive community, and works out how to keep on getting there.