Open letter to our communal leadership: a response from FRS

To the Chair of Reform Judaism, the Senior Rabbi of the Movement and the Chair of the Assembly of Rabbis and Cantors UK:

Having read the article in The Times on the 13th January 2020 and The JC on the 19th December 2019, with reference to West London Synagogue, we have now seen the Open Letter to communal leadership.

We believe that this letter is addressed to all of us – the leadership of the Reform Movement – and requires an urgent response. Therefore, FRS is heeding the call to action and urges you to be our strong partners in this endeavour. We understand that we can only ensure a “safer future for our sacred places” if we work in a three-way meaningful partnership and we ask for this to be a top priority for all our synagogues, our Movement and our Assembly.

The need to implement robust safeguards and a healthy culture for those who work in our organisations, as well as for the members of our communities (especially those who are vulnerable), is non-negotiable. It is incumbent upon us not just to lead from the front, but to be seen to be doing so.

Any failure to do so would be fundamentally to misunderstand the moral and ethical imperatives that are our responsibility as community leaders.

We trust we can count on your wholehearted support and look forward to working with you,

The Clergy and Council of FRS