Convening

in European Judaism
Author:
Lionel Blue Leo Baeck College

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Abstract

In this article, Lionel Blue describes the role played by the Beth Din, the Jewish religious court, of the UK Reform Jewish movement, of which he was the Convenor. He writes with humour of the way he tried to humanize what might otherwise be a strange and daunting experience for people. The court deals with conversion to Judaism, issues of Jewish status, legal matters associated with divorce. He describes the emphasis that has to be placed on supporting the individuals facing these deeply personal life-changing situations. Beyond the purely traditional legal issues and formality, greater attention and understanding should be given to the relationships people actually enter into today, and to the people themselves, their needs and their possibilities.

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