Board Deputies 16 feb 2017

Board of Deputies
Community Briefing

Jonathan Arkush writes to Home Secretary over concerns about ending Dubs amendment on refugee children

Lord Dubs, whose amendment on child refugees has been closed by the Government

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has written to the Home Secretary outlining the organisation’s concerns at the Government’s ending of the Dubs amendment scheme to admit child refugees.

He wrote: “Many in our community came to the UK as frightened and vulnerable young children – some on the kindertransport – and were welcomed into this country. We expect that other communities who are in need receive the same treatment. We therefore urge you to reconsider the number of children you are able to help.”

The letter was written following a question to Jonathan Arkush by the Board of Deputies Social Action Group.

Read the full letter here.

An example from The Heritage Lottery Fund “London Jews in the First World War – We Were There Too” archive from the 1914-1918 period. This has been brought into public view for the first time in 100 years on its new website. The aim of the project is to uncover, capture and preserve London’s First World War Jewish stories on a newly created digital platform. If you would like to find out more about the project, there is a roadshow at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John’s Wood on March 5, 2017 from 2.30-4.30pm. Entry is free


Holocaust memorial designs to go on display at this Sunday’s Board meeting

Sir Eric Pickles, the United Kingdom Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, will be at this Sunday’s  Board of Deputies meeting to introduce designs for the new National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

The designs, which will be on display, have been produced by some of the world’s very best architectural talent and are also available to view online. Consultation with the public, those working in the field of Holocaust remembrance and education, as well as technical experts will play a crucial role in informing the final decision of the jury. You can view the designs and have your sayhere.

For a live stream of the meeting click here.


Board of Deputies warmly welcomes government action on town hall boycotts

The Board of Deputies has warmly welcomed Government measures to prevent town hall boycotts against Israel.

A spokesperson said: “These boycotts are divisive and undermine good community relations.

“The new steps, announced by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid, will ensure that all suppliers of goods and services receive equal treatment and do not need to fear prejudice.”

Board of Deputies Activity


Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and International Relations Officer David Walsh met Robert Singer, CEO of the World Jewish Congress to discuss increased cooperation between the organisations. Phil Rosenberg also joined Robert Singer in a meeting with Mike Whine, Director of Government and International Affairs at the Community Security Trust.

Chief Executive Gillian Merron met British Ambassador David Quarrey and Deputy Ambassador Tony Kay in Tel Aviv to discuss the meeting between Prime Ministers Theresa May and Benjamin Netanyahu and bilateral ties between the two countries.

Gillian Merron met Dr Laurence Weinbaum, the Director General of WJC Israel, in Jerusalem to discuss cooperation between the WJC Jerusalem office and the Board of Deputies.

Gillian Merron met Ya’akov Finkelstein, Director of the Jewish Communities Department,  and Akiva Tor, Head of the Bureau of World Jewish Affairs at the  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Jerusalem. They discussed Brexit, UK-Israel bilateral relations and the UK Jewish community.

President Jonathan Arkush and David Walsh attended a lunch at the invitation of the Japanese Embassy to discuss Middle East issues, Brexit and transatlantic relations.

David Walsh met Margo Passmore, the incoming Head of Freedom of Religion or Belief/Post Holocaust, Human Rights and Democracy Department at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to brief her on the work of the Board of Deputies on these issues and discuss cooperation going forward.

David Walsh attended a reception at the Serbian Embassy in honour of Serbia’s National Day. 

Phil Rosenberg and David Walsh met Michael Stephen of the Royal United Services Institute as part of a series of meetings aiming to build working relations with a number of influential think tanks.

Treasurer Stuart MacDonald attended a lunch briefing by the Israeli Ambassador, Mark Regev, organised by World ORT.

David Walsh and Senior Vice President Richard Verber attended a roundtable discussion at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on various Israel related issues. 


Jonathan Arkush addressed Melave Malka after the conclusion of Shabbat at Catford United Synagogue.

Jonathan Arkush visited Sandys Row Synagogue where he spoke on the role of the Board of Deputies.


Phil Rosenberg commented on a roundtable discussion with Education Secretary Justine Greening on community cohesion. Read the statement here.

Education Policy Adviser Dawn Waterman met Jon Epstein of the Jewish Community Day Schools’ Advisory Board to discuss current education policy  issues.

Forty-five students and three staff from a school in Monmouth were given a Jewish learning tour. They visited a synagogue, enjoyed a kosher lunch, went to a Jewish cemetery to learn about Jewish life cycle practice and completed the day with a talk by Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack.

Education Development Manager Sara Perlmutter held a meeting with PaJeS to discuss 2017/18 Judaism conferences and regional educational joint programmes.

Pikuach’s Working Group on providing a framework to help schools evaluate their provision for spiritual development met in Birmingham. Pikuach Director Jeffrey Leader gave a presentation to heads of Jewish Studies on the work of the group so far.

Education Consultant Sandra Teacher visited Kisharon School to give advice and support on its Free School application.


Phil Rosenberg and Interfaith & Social Action Officer Anthony Silkoff had a meeting at Lambeth Palace with Revd Mark Poulson, Secretary for Inter-Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Katie Hodkinson, Inter-Religious Affairs Programme Officer. They discussed a range of topics in the field of Jewish-Christian relations, including how the British Christian and Jewish communities can work together to support Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding efforts

Phil Rosenberg met Phil Champain, Director of the Three Faiths Forum, to discuss community cohesion at local and national levels.


Anthony Silkoff delivered two workshops on social action at Tu B’Sh’vat for older people at Jewish Care’s day centres in Kenton and Southgate. Attendees sung Hebrew songs, sampled some of the fruits connected with the festival, and had a lively discussion about the Jewish community’s response to climate change and global poverty. Many of the participants said they would soon be writing to their MP or local newspaper about these issues.

16 FEBRUARY 2017
20 SH’VAT 5777

Shabbat times:

LONDON 5.01pm/6.12pm
MANCHESTER 5.06pm/6:16pm
LEEDS 5.02pm/6.03pm
GLASGOW 5.09pm/6.25pm


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