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Evening raises £250k

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2008-10-27

Reform Movement head, Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield welcoming people to the Jewish faith

Reform Movement head, Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield welcoming people to the Jewish faith

Despite the current credit crunch, the Reform Movement has had a rise in the number of pledges at its annual dinner.

With 240 people attending the black tie event, a rise of 10% on the previous year, £250,000 was pledged which was a rise of 25% on the figure for 2007.

The evening also saw Reform Movement head, Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield to encourage and celebrate when someone wishes to join the Jewish faith.

"There are 2 billion Christians in the world, 1.2 billion Muslims and 14 million Jews. Yet we've been the only faith not to celebrate when someone chooses to join us," he said. "Our rabbis declared an end to that madness. We are passionate about reaching out and counting people in."

The evening also saw guest speaker Ronald Harwood, the writer of The Pianist talk about how he has reconnected with his Jewish identity through the Reform Movement and with his shul, West London Synagogue.

Harwood spoke of his upbringing in South Africa and changing his last name from Horwitz to Harwood.