Board Deputies 9 marzo 2017

Board of Deputies
Community Briefing

Director of Public Prosecutions: ‘We are talking to faith communities on domestic abuse’

Left to-right: Louise Ellman MP, Naomi Dickson, Alison Saunders, Jane Garvey, Eilidh Whiteford MP, Shaista Gohir and Gillian Merron 
Photo: Gary Perlmutter

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders has told a joint Board of Deputies and Jewish Women’s Aid event that there are now “more prosecutions and convictions for domestic abuse than ever before”.

Speaking to an International Women’s Day event entitled “Domestic Abuse: do faith communities help or hinder victims?” Ms Saunders said: “We have worked very hard with communities and faith leaders on race hatred and religious hatred and we think that it’s also a great way forward to talk to communities about domestic abuse.

She added: “We welcome the support given by Jewish Women’s Aid to those going through the justice process.”

The packed event at the House of Commons, which was chaired by Radio 4 Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey, also featured contributions from Naomi Dickson, Chief Executive of Jewish Women’s Aid; Shaista Gohir, Chair of the Muslim Women’s Network; Dr Eilidh Whiteford, Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Social Justice) and Louise Ellman MP, Deputy for the Jewish Labour Movement. 

Naomi Dickson said: “There used to be a misconception that Jewish women were not affected by domestic abuse. Jewish Women’s Aid has worked across the breadth of the community with rabbis, leaders, the religious establishment and rebbitizins to change this culture.”

According to Jewish Women’s Aid, domestic abuse cases have reached ‘epidemic’ level in the Jewish community. Our expert panel tackled questions including:
•    What are the challenges that arise when a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence comes from a minority faith or ethnic community?
•    Is there more or less support for victims when they are part of a faith community?
•    What more should faith leaders be doing to combat domestic abuse in their communities?

Following the event, Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron said: “In gathering together an exceptional panel of speakers, it made this a fascinating and important event for International Women’s Day. The quality of the discussion was exceptionally high and the speed with which the tickets were snapped up indicates that there is a huge desire for this often taboo issue to be debated openly.”  

Deputy Amanda Bowman thanked the speakers at the end of the event, on behalf of the Board of Deputies Social Action Group and Women’s Group.

You can catch up with the live stream of the event here.


Amazon UK removes Holocaust denial books

Amazon UK has removed three books from sale which promote Holocaust denial, following discussions with the Board of Deputies.

In a conversation with the online bookseller, Board of Deputies representatives informed Amazon of three titles which were inappropriate to be offered by a reputable bookseller. These were: Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told, by Eleanor Wittakers; The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, by Arthur R. Butz and Did Six Million Really Die? by Richard Harwood. This week, Amazon UK confirmed that these books had been withdrawn from sale.

Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl said that she was glad these books would no longer be sold by Amazon. “At a time of record levels of antisemitism, it is very welcome that Amazon has listened and removed the offending titles from their website. These are not works of historical integrity, they are an antisemitic attempt to exonerate the Nazis of their crimes and to stoke the fires of hatred.

“Should any member of the public find further offending works, please get in contact with us and we will report them using the appropriate channels.”

Read the Jewish News story here.


MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin on improving gender equality

Member of Knesset Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin spoke to a mixed group of Board of Deputies, UJIA staff and Deputies about gender equality, in a briefing ahead of International Women’s Day.

Ayelet spoke about why there is still a need for International Women’s Day, giving some examples of gender inequality in Israel. She spoke about the measures taken to improve gender equality, noting that areas which have legislation promoting equality are progressing at a faster rate than sectors which do not.

There was a discussion about the role of women in the IDF, including recent developments to include female trainer pilots, and plans for future armoured corps. Ayelet also discussed the role of women on boards, and her involvement in training women for these roles.

Board of Deputies Activity


International Relations Officer David Walsh met Udi Volkov of the British Embassy in Israel to discuss political developments in the country, UK-Israel relations and the Jewish community’s positions on various Israel related issues.

In Vienna, David Walsh participated in the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency’s stakeholder meeting on discrimination and hate crime against Jews.

President Jonathan Arkush attended a dinner and concert at the home of the Ambassador of Germany.

Jonathan Arkush and Chief Executive Gillian Merron met Jonathan Greenbatt, the CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League

Jonathan Arkush attended a  reception to launch the UK Legal Friends of Israel Charitable Trust at the House of Lords.

Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and David Walsh met counter-extremism leads at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Treasurer Stuart MacDonald attended a meeting of the Israel Bonds Advisory Board.

Grassroots and Advocacy Consultant Steven Jaffe held a series of meetings with leading Christian supporters of Israel including Michael Young, Ruth Fazal and Annette Powell.

Steven Jaffe met Luke Akehurst and Rachel Kaye of We Believe in Israel to discuss various pro-Israel initiatives.


Jonathan Arkush addressed a celebration in Hull of the 250th anniversary of the Hull Jewish community.

Gillian Merron chaired the CEO’s forum which brings together chief executives from across the community. Discussions included crisis management. There was also a presentation from Kisharon about its “Equals” brand – a strategy to create sustainable services.

Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon met Mitchell Cohen, Deputy for Bushey and District Synagogue, to discuss young Jewish public affairs professionals.

Senior Vice President Richard Verber ran two consultations on Board of Deputies governance proposals.


Jonathan Arkush attended an Institute of Jewish Policy Research President’s Lunch at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Leigh.

Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon met Scottish National Party MP for East Renfrewshire Kirsten Oswald MP to discuss antisemitism, promoting peace in the Middle East and interfaith relations.

Phil Rosenberg and Joel Salmon met Rebecca Viney and Sophie Ross, Co-Chairs of the Civil Service Jewish Network to plan cooperation over the coming months. Sophie is also a Deputy for New North London Synagogue.


Phil Rosenberg and Joel Salmon met the public affairs team at Google to talk about tackling hate and extremism online.


Phil Rosenberg attended a celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Phil Rosenberg and Interfaith Officer and Social Action Officer Anthony Silkoff met Hampstead Synagogue and St Andrews URC Church, Frognal to discuss local interfaith partnerships.


Vice President Sheila Gewolb attended the Cumbria SACRE (Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education) meeting in Carlisle.  One of the main topics was the forthcoming SACRE conference, at which the new locally agreed syllabus for RE will be presented to all Cumbria RE teachers.

Sheila Gewolb was a guest at the children’s prize giving and lunch at Cardiff Reform Synagogue. Also present were the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Lord Mayor of Cardiff, and several Cardiff MPs.

Education Policy Adviser Dawn Waterman attended the PaJeS conference for the Head Teachers of Jewish schools.

Dawn Waterman and Community Services Manager Colin Spanjar met trustees of Jewish Heritage UK to discuss issues of mutual concern throughout the country.

Education Consultant Sandra Teacher is working with the Department for Education Counter Extremism Unit to produce resource material to help Early Years pupils understand about how to identify forms of extremism.

Sandra Teacher attended a conference at the Department for Education in Sheffield as part of the Free School’s team. The latest initiatives were discussed for when the next wave of applications take place.


Jonathan Arkush attended a reception at the House of Lords for Holocaust Memorial Day to thank all the volunteers and staff who worked for HMD 2017.

Designs for the new National Holocaust Memorial and learning centre, which have been produced by some of the world’s very best architectural talent, are available to view online. The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation wants to hear from you. 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 say here.

9 MARCH 2017
11 ADAR 5777

Shabbat times:

LONDON 5.39pm/6.48pm
MANCHESTER 5.46pm/6:58pm
LEEDS 5.43pm/6.55pm
GLASGOW 5.53pm/7.08pm


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