Being barely religious and rarely interested in matters of the spirit, I’m not an obvious contender for involvement in something such as Grassroots Jews. Some of my non-Jewish friends identify me as a cultural Jew and it is true that I mainly avoid synagogue and on the rare occasion I am obliged to go, I will sit, hiding my paperback inside a Siddur, studiously ignoring the prayers around me…
However for the past 10 years or so I’ve participated both actively and passively in a number of informal Jewish organisations, most of which concentrate on the evolution of Judaism into a practice relevant to our lives today. For me this is not just a cultural affiliation – it is definitely a connection to the religious practice –one that is not synagogue-based but is fluid and changing and more in line with the world outside the walls of prayer.
I think that one of the most interesting aspects of Judaism is its endless capacity for, and history of, commentary and questioning. GRJ fits perfectly into this historical line: it is commentary in action.I hope to see many of you in services next weekend and the week after, and that it is a positive and stimulating experience for all.