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Monday, 15 June 2009

It’s Now Dr Copitch, We Presume!


This weekend I witnessed one of the loveliest ever moments during a Shabbat (Sabbath) morning synagogue service.

Friends and colleagues of Belinda Copitch    honoured her for  strenuous efforts she made during many years as director of Northern Development at the  Movement for Reform Judaism in Britain.

She, modest to a degree (and yes, she also just gained a PhD!) refused to accept the traditional privilege of being called to read from the Torah (Bible Scroll), as is permitted to women in the Progressive Movement.

Instead, seven of her friends and colleagues mounted the bimah (stage) and read the blessings on her behalf … and it is said that the number seven has a holy quality in Jewish tradition.

Or am I just being superstitious as well as over-effusive? Belinda - doubtless will advise me – and will also ache to murder me (again) for penning this piece. But she deserves the extra accolade. ‘Kol Kavod’ as we say in Hebrew - ‘all to her strength’.

My picture shows Belinda with Rabbi Dr Ruven Silverman of Manchester Reform Synagogue, Jackson’s Row – where she ran her office.


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