Synagogues across the religious spectrum are set to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in June following a call from Jewish News to mark the occasion in communities across the country.
The bunting will be out as special Royal-themed kiddushes, sermons and cheder activities mark the first ever Royal Shabbat on 11 June, the day of Her Majesty’s official birthday. The weekend will be the centrepiece of national celebrations with a huge street party for charities in the Mall and a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s, although synagogues unable to mark the occasion that weekend are urged to do so on another occasion around the same time.
The Chief Rabbi is urging the communities under his auspices to host celebrations fit for a Queen, with the Centre for Rabbinic Excellence poised to issue a ‘tips and ideas’ guide for planning a patriotic event and providing funding to make the best proposals come to fruition.
Details of the plans are expected to be sent out after Pesach and will enable the synagogues to order a free, personalised banner to mark the big birthday. “The Chief Rabbi will also send a short message to his communities to mark this auspicious occasion, as well as a special version of the Prayer for the Royal Family, which will incorporate an additional passage composed in honour of the Queen’s birthday,” a spokesman said.
In response to Jewish News’ campaign, which is backed by the Board of Deputies, Liberal Judaism has also pledged to mark the occasion. Chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich said: “We will be marking the impressive achievements of Her Majesty the Queen, along with people of all faiths, and none, all over the country. “The Jewish Nws’ call for a Royal Shabbat is something we’ll be taking up as a movement, and I’m sure our communities will think of lots of fun, innovative and educational services and activities to celebrate this milestone.”
Jonathan Wittenberg, senior rabbi of the Masorti movement, said: “We support the Royal Shabbat initiative and will encourage our communities to participate in it.” The Movement for Reform Judaism expressed support for the initiative, while the S&P Sephardi Community has also been contacted.