The Board of Deputies and Tell MAMA have called for a line offensive both to Muslims and Jews to be deleted from a BBC story about a racist attack against Muslim girls in Poland to learn about the Holocaust. Vice President Marie van der Zyl and Tell MAMA founder Fiyaz Mughal, said: “In a story about Muslim schoolgirls suffering racism as they learn about the Holocaust, why have the BBC included the gratuitous line – offensive to both Muslims and Jews – that ‘the Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims’? Together, we call on the BBC to delete the offending passage and apologise.” The line has now been removed from the story, but the BBC have yet to comment. Read the JC story here.
Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg attended an Eid reception in Parliament hosted by Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq.
Chief Executive Gillian Merronspoke at the plenary session of a training day for the Balfour Declaration centenary organised by We Believe in Israel. Gillian spoke about the contribution of the British Jewish community to securing the Declaration. In particular, she addressed the crucial vote at the Board of Deputies which censored the anti-Zionist activities of an element of the community’s leadership. Gillian outlined the special nature of the British Jewish community’s relationship with Israel.
Grassroots and Advocacy Consultant Steven Jaffe chaired a workshop on the Churches and Balfour at the training day which promoted the work of the Christian Balfour 100 committee to celebrate the centenary and also examined the hostile narrative within sections of the Churches and how Christians and Jews should respond to it. More than 200 activists attended the day which included a choice of ten workshops and an address by Israeli ambassador Mark Regev.
International Relations Officer David Walsh attended the 1stTurkish Cypriot Culture Festival organised by the Council of Turkish Cypriot Associations UK (CTCA UK) and an Eid reception where he met Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Tuğrul Türkeş. Türkeş was in London ahead of the Conference on Cyprus in Switzerland.
President Jonathan Arkush attended a reception at the Lithuanian Embassy.
Gillian Merron and David Walsh attended the Centre for Policy Studies Margaret Thatcher Conference on Security. Speakers included Dr Henry Kissinger, Lord Rabbi Sacks, Lord Robertson, Lt. Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya’alon and Prince Turki Al Faisal.
Jonathan Arkush participated in a round table on the future of human rights arranged by Rene Cassin and led by journalist David Aaronovitch.
Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon met incoming UJS President Josh Holt to look at how the two organisations can meet common challenges in the year ahead.
Vice President Sheila Gewolb met Levi Attias, who heads the interfaith outreach activity in Gibraltar, to discuss areas of mutual interest regarding speaking about Judaism to the wider non-Jewish community. Levi currently works with TV and radio in Gibraltar and southern Spain and is looking to increase the outreach work with local schools
Jonathan Arkush addressed the Annual General Meeting of the Movement for Reform Judaism.
Gillian Merron attended the Liberal Judaism Patrons Dinner.
Jonathan Arkush was hosted by Western Marble Arch United Synagogue and addressed the community at the end of the Shabbat morning service and at seuda shlishit.
Jonathan Arkush attended a reception at The National Gallery to celebrate the re-naming of the Wohl Galleries to commemorate 50 years of giving by the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation.
Education Policy Adviser Dawn Waterman, Education Development Manager Sara Perlmutter and Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenbergorganised a tour of Jewish schools for officials from Downing Street and the Department for Education, including Etz Chaim Primary School, Hasmonean High School and JFS.
Sheila Gewolb attended the North North West Hub meeting of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) in Preston, Lancashire. Topics discussed included how to promote the importance of religious education (RE) to non-faith schools and the worrying trend of some parents who withdraw their children from different aspects of RE.
Sara Perlmutter ran two Jewish living tours with pupils from St Thomas More School. More than 75 year nine and year 10 pupils attended. They ate a kosher pizza meal, met a local scribe and visited a Jewish cemetery to learn and understand about Jewish burial ritual and practice, before a question and answer session with Rabbi Alex Chapper from Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.
Sara Perlmutter represented the Board of Deputies at the Hertsmere inter-faith event at Borehamood Synagogue as part of the Town Council’s summer festival. A mini Jewish Living Experience exhibition was displayed.