The Reform movement is about to take the first step to launch an alternative to Aish, the Orthodox outreach organisation for young adults.
A residential weekend next month will be the inaugural event by the Assembly of Reform Rabbis to offer a "non-fundamentalist" alternative.
Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, of London’s North-Western Reform Synagogue – who is leading the initiative with Rabbi Neil Amswych of Bournemouth Reform Synagogue – said: "The Assembly wants to try to provide the quality of input for young adults that organisations such as Aish do."
Aish – which enjoyed an income of more than £3 million in 2005 – is active in providing programmes for young Jewish adults with heavily subsidised trips abroad, Friday-night dinners and other social and educational events.
Rabbi Goldsmith said: "We know that many young Jews, who don’t subscribe to the beliefs that Aish stands for, still really enjoy Aish events because they are well-planned, well-executed and well-supported by rabbis. We want to provide a non-fundamentalist model of true Jewish engagement."
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