Emerging International Leaders Visit KLS

“It was a message of love, tolerance and interfaith dialogue for us all”

On Sunday 14th July, we were honoured to host 50 students currently studying in the UK who are part of the Emerging International Leaders Programme run by Cumberland Lodge.
Rabbi Rene Pfertzel with participants in the Emerging Leaders Programme
The programme aims to empower international postgraduate students, who are currently studying in the UK, to become advocates of human rights in their universities and home countries. Every year, it equips 50 high-potential students from all over the world with the skills and insight necessary to drive debate, influence policy and build a powerful global network around Freedom of Religion or Belief. This year, representatives from 30 UK universities and 28 nationalities have been taking part.  
The final part of the course was a ‘Freedom of Religion’ module which included a visit to KLS. Rabbi Rene Pfertzel spoke to the group about the history of Judaism, about how Progressive Judaism aims to adhere to modernity and recognises the evolutionary nature of the faith, and about interfaith dialogue.  He showed them the Torah scroll and chanted the weekly Torah portion.  
Rabbi Rene Pfertel shows the Torah Scroll to participants of Emerging Leaders Programme
“They were truly a group of inspirational and amazing young leaders” said Rabbi Rene after the event, “We had great conversations on many topics, I was truly impressed with the level of their questions and the depth of their interest”. 

María Celeste Alvarez, a participant from Colombia, who is currently studying a postgraduate degree at the University of Warwick, said “I’m so grateful to KLS for opening its doors to us as part of this remarkable visit.  It was a message of love, tolerance, respect, hope and interfaith dialogue for us all”.