The history of our Liberal Jewish community
The Liberale Jüdische Gemeinde Hamburg e.V. – LJGH – is a not-for-profit organisation. We are affiliated with the Jewish Reform movement and life within our community aims to reflect this.
Hamburg already had a high-profile Reform community centred around the Hamburg Temple from 1817 to 1938, and the influence of this movement continues to echo around the world today. This is what we want to build on. Our community was founded by 12 Jews in August 2004. Today, we have several hundred members and the number continues to increase every month. We belong to the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany, the European Union for Progressive Judaism and are part of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Rabbi Dr. Moshe Navon joined us in 2015 as our own community rabbi. Our next aim is to establish our own Liberal synagogue in Hamburg.
What we hope to provide to our members and friends: inclusive diversity in Judaism
Naturally, our services are primarily aimed at Jews, but there are many non-Jews who also enjoy our events and activities. We warmly welcome you to get to know our community, to become a friend or member of the community, or support us with a donation or simply with your interest in what we do.
The work of our community is focussed on religious, cultural and social work.
The liberalisation of religious life: We are an egalitarian community and advocate the equal participation of men and women in our services and community life. We defend the rights of ethnic minorities, homosexuals and single people in our religious and everyday lives. Progressive Judaism fights for the recognition of the children of Jewish fathers as full members of the community. In addition to Hebrew, we also use the local language in our services so that the entire congregation can actively participate. As Liberal Jews, we respect other religions and maintain interfaith dialogue. Liberal Judaism is also open to the ideas of humanism, philosophy and scientific discovery.
Culture and education have always been of intrinsic importance to Judaism. For this reason, we want to enable all our members to access this cultural heritage – which is the heritage of Judaism, society and humanity as a whole. We want to help them live an active and culturally stimulating life within a diverse Germany. Education is an essential prerequisite for this. In addition, we also support the artistic contributions of our members. Through this, we hope that our values and ideals can be illustrated in a creative way, opening up a dialogue with non-Jewish people.
Social work is at the heart of the services we provide in our community: a willingness to help, hospitality and respect towards others are values that have been associated with Judaism since time immemorial. Other religions have been inspired by this. Within our means, our range of services is tailored to address the needs of our members.
If you would like to find out more about Liberal Judaism, we recommend reading the 35 Principles of Liberal Judaism from the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany (content only available in German).