Tributes to Liberal Judaism’s pioneering first female head, Rosita Rosenberg
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Tributes to Liberal Judaism’s pioneering first female head, Rosita Rosenberg

'Guiding force of Liberal and Progressive Judaism for many years' who helped establish communities across the UK, dies aged 86

Rosita Rosenberg
Rosita Rosenberg

Rosita Rosenberg, one of the leading figures in Liberal Judaism, has died aged 86.

Rosita, who served as executive director of Liberal Judaism from 1989-1997 and was the first woman to ever hold the role, played a significant role in the community for many decades.

She helped to establish many Liberal communities including in Peterborough, Lincolnshire, Norwich, Kent and Herefordshire, as well as The Liberal Synagogue Elstree, then known as Stanmore Liberal Synagogue, of which she became an active member.

Only last week she was honoured in Jewish News’  120 Over 80 list, described as “a guiding force of Liberal and Progressive Judaism for many years”.

During the 1960s, Rosita managed Liberal Judaism’s Development Committee that also helped to establish communities in Bedfordshire-Hertfordshire and Kingston.

Despite stepping down as executive director in 1997, Rosita still served as a vice president of Liberal Judaism and inspired and supported many new generations of leaders and members.

She co-wrote the definitive history of the movement, Liberal Judaism: The First 100 Years, along with Rabbi Lawrence Rigal.

Liberal Judaism’s current chief executive oOfficer Rabbi Charley Baginsky said: “Rosita was an inspiration, a mentor and a confidante to me and so many others. She was loved by all who knew her and will be deeply missed. Her achievements for Liberal Judaism still stand and inspire to this day.”

Rabbi Rebecca Birk and Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel, the co-chairs of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors said: “We are deeply saddened at the death of Rosita Rosenberg. Rosita led our movement as its executive director for almost ten years, her strong commitment to Liberal Judaism, its history and values guided her always.

 

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