26 December 2013
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26 December 2013

What are Heritage Days?      

The Centre for Jewish Identity is a committee of B’nai B’rith UK, which acts as a link between the UK and Europe. Its aim is to reinforce Jewish identity and commitment through outreach, educational and cultural programmes.

Committee members are drawn from B’nai B’rith Lodges and meet on a regular basis.

Its main activities are:-

European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage

Since the year 2000, the committee has been deeply involved with the organisation of  European Jewish Heritage Days, celebrated across the country for the past twelve years as well as throughout mainland Europe.

More recently, the title has been extended to include Jewish culture as well as architectural, historic and religious heritage. On Heritage Days, selected synagogues and Jewish historic sites are open to the public and related events include guided walks, lectures and exhibitions.





This year’s Heritage Days events took place between Sunday 15th September and Sunday 29th September 2013.

We are delighted to announce that this year, for the first time ever, we had a media partner on board for European Days of Jewish Culture & Heritage. The Jewish News, which has a weekly circulation of almost 27,000, promoted EDJCH within the paper in the weeks leading up to the start of Heritage Days on 15th September.

This coverage was in the form of editorial, comment pieces and advertising, as well as photospreads after the events were over.

We, in turn, carried their logo and strapline on our new format A5 booklet, as well as on the BBUK website, on press releases, on the downloadable PDF and, of course, in our magazine,  inTouch.

There was an excellent response from shuls and organisations around the UK to this year’s European Days of Jewish Culture & Heritage and the theme – ‘Judaism and the

Natural World’. This encompassed anything from nature, ecology and the environment to the four elements (water, air, earth and fire).

As Heritage Days fell over Succot this year, many synagogues across the country opened up their Succah to the public and provided seasonal refreshments, as well as on-site guides to explain about the meaning of the festival and the food that is eaten at this time of year. In London, these included Bevis Marks, East London Central Synagogue, Hampstead Synagogue, Lauderdale Road, Edgware & District Reform Synagogue, Stanmore & Canons Park United Synagogue, the New West End Synagogue, Sandys Row and the West London Synagogue.

Regionally, shuls in Brighton & Hove, Chatham, Cheltenham, Exeter, Liverpool, Ramsgate, Oxford, Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow, Cornwall, Thanet, Manchester, Reading and Hull all opened their doors to the public.

Venues offering events this year included the Wiener Library, Ben Uri Art Gallery, the London Jewish Cultural Centre, the Jewish Historical Society of England and the Manchester Jewish Museum. There was even be a visit to the walled garden at Lambeth Palace.

Around the country, new Heritage Trails and guided walks offered visitors the chance to explore towns rich in Jewish history, including the beautiful city of York. Our walking tour guides from Go London Tours created bespoke walks for B’nai B’rith this year, encompassing areas linked with high profile personalities who figured prominently in the history of BBUK.

In the spirit of interfaith outreach and understanding of Jewish culture, everyone was welcome!

All about this year’s Heritage Days events

You can download the PDF version of the printed programme by clicking

European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage

See Front Page  to read detailed reports of Heritage Days event