As we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, let us give thanks, for her life and for the remarkable achievements of this second Elizabethan Age.

When people gathered to watch the Coronation of the young Queen on that sparkling new invention, television, those, who had lived through the bleak 1930s and the horrors of World War II, dared to look forward – and hope that their daughters and their sons would inhabit a better and more peaceful world.

They were right to be hopeful. Despite the continuing eruption of famine, war and genocide, across the globe, shadowing each succeeding decade, the past 60 years have also witnessed stunning breakthroughs in technology, science and medicine, as well as remarkable social change: the development of a vibrant youth culture, the rise of women’s liberation and gay liberation, a re-assertion of the values of compassion and community and the emergence of a more pluralistic, multicultural society.

Following the horrors of the Sho’ah, the Jewish community in Britain has experienced unprecedented security and stability during the past 60 years. As Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II marks her Diamond Jubilee, and the nation comes together to celebrate her personal achievement and the advances during her reign, may we resolve to participate in British society as Jews – as proud Jews, who embrace our sacred inheritance and also embrace the liberating spirit of the times.

And let us say: Amen.

Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah