Sir Terence Etherton, one of the most senior judges in England and Wales, addressed a packed Montcalm Hotel on Tuesday evening, expressing his pride in Reform Judaism.
Sir Terence, an accomplished fencer, who will become Master of the Rolls - the head of civil justice in England and Wales - on 3rd October, described how his new position has often had a Jewish link, with five of the past six post-holders having Jewish connections.
The experienced judge also offered guests a moving description of his same sex marriage at West London Synagogue to his partner of more than 30 years.
The event, Reform Judaism’s Annual Dinner, generously supported by Investec, was the best attended in the movement’s history.
In an evening of new beginnings, guests were introduced to new President, Sir Trevor Chinn, and the organisation’s new Chairperson, Geoffrey Marx.
Reform Judaism, which enables the growth of vibrant Reform Jewish communities, showcased its three key organisational focuses: Re-imagining leadership; adult social care and promoting empowering Jewish practice. Each theme had been identified in close consultation with communities, and was launched earlier this year at the movement’s biennial conference, Chagigah (‘Celebration’).
Sir Terrence Etherton said;
The first day it was possible, I had a same sex marriage to my partner of 39 years. How proud and thankful I was to be a Reform Jew and a citizen of this country on that day.
Sir Trevor Chinn, Reform Judaism President, who also addressed the gathering said;
The future of Reform Judaism will define the future of the British Jewish community.