Senior Reform rabbi says ‘moribund’ Stanmore Accords need to be refreshed

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Senior Reform rabbi says ‘moribund’ Stanmore Accords need to be refreshed

The accords were signed in 1998, ending a bitter rift between Progressive and Orthodox leaders

Reform rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner
Reform rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner

Senior Reform rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner has warned that the “moribund” Stanmore Accords need to be “refreshed.”

The accords were signed in 1998, after a rift between movements culminated in former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’s conspicuous absence from a Reform leader’s funeral, Rabbi Hugo Gryn.

The accords, reached by the Reform, Liberal, United Synagogue and Masorti movements, ended a bitter schism between Progressive and Orthodox leaders, signalling a shift towards greater unity.

Senior Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner told Jewish News: “I think that these important accords need to be refreshed and that we need to work together far more and I am very upset by the lack of coordination and collaboration and our community deserves far more.”

“Particularly in these times, we have to work together and be seen to work together on vital subjects such as antisemitism, interfaith relations,” she added.

Speaking at a meeting of the Board of Deputies on Sunday, the senior rabbi urged the community to sit together to discuss antisemitism, interfaith issues, and the Holocaust.

“These are not religious issues. These fall within the now moribund 1998 Stanmore Accords, the cross communal agreement about how all denominations would work together, looking up with integrity and decency for the good of the community as a whole and not downwards just at our own parochial territorial concerns,” she told the meeting.

The remarks come after the Reform movement unveiled its general election manifesto on 22 November, matching key policies to a Jewish belief.

The document encourages the public to back policies addressing “the underlying causes of isolation and disenfranchisement felt within some communities” and working towards the UK achieving net zero carbon emissions.

The manifesto also backs compulsory LGBT+ inclusive Relationships and
Sex Education in all schools and adequate funding for problems disproportionately affecting the LGBT+ community, including homelessness and mental health support.

It also encourages voters to back “a peaceful two-state resolution to the
conflict on the basis of self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis.”

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