BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS- COMMUNITY BRIEFING
by Comunidad Judía · 17 Tishri 5780 – 16 October, 2019
Board of Deputies President condemns Yom Kippur vote of no confidence against Labour MP Louise Ellman Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has condemned a vote of no confidence tabled against Labour MP Louise Ellman to be heard at a constituency meeting on Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day of Atonement.
Marie said: “That a Jewish MP should be threatened with a vote of no confidence tabled for Yom Kippur – the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when she has no opportunity even to respond – ought to be a
source of deep shame for the Labour Party. That Labour shelters antisemites while attacking anti-racism campaigners is why the EHRC is investigating a political party for the first time since it looked into the activities of the BNP. Louise Ellman has fought bravely against antisemitism in her own party, and she should be applauded, not vilified.” Marie van der Zyl’s New Year message: The story of a flourishing community Last year, my Rosh Hashanah message told of the way the Jewish community came together to proclaim in a loud and firm voice, “Enough is Enough” on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
Since then, the antisemitism crisis has not gone away. However, our campaign against those who pursue this most ancient form of racism has had great successes, notably the suspension of serial offenders including Chris Williamson and Peter Willsman, and the expulsion of Jackie Walker.
There is understandable anxiety in our community about the way racists within Labour have been emboldened to express their disgraceful views by the indifference, and at times the collusion, of the party’s leadership. However, as I have been saying since I assumed the presidency of this great organisation in 2018, there is another story to be told.
This is the story of a longstanding community that has lived peacefully in the UK for centuries; a community which, since we were allowed back into this country by Oliver Cromwell, has had the freedom to practise our religion and live a truly Jewish life within a respectful society.
In return, our community has contributed great things in the arts, in society, in business, in politics and science. We have produced major figures from Abba Eban to Amy Winehouse, from Isaiah Berlin to Mark Ronson. With the prevailing conditions of freedom and respect our community has flourished over the past centuries, and despite worries over the revival of mainstream antisemitism, most of us lead happy Jewish lives.
However, there is a reason that the Board of Deputies has existed since 1760; that is to protect those hard-won freedoms and to ensure that the Jewish community in all its forms and denominations, continues to flourish.
Read the full message here.
Teaching Judaism GCSE – everything you need in order to deliver Judaism GCSE to a high standard. This essential one-day conference, which includes panels, workshops, lectures and interactive sessions, will be delivered by leading Jewish authorities in Religious Education, and exam board representatives. Early Bird tickets are on sale until 24 October. Book here ACTIVITY REPORT INTERNATIONAL Chief Executive Gillian Merron, Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and International Relations Officer Marius Bischoff held discussions with Andras Ligeti, the new WJC Liaison European Manager, and John Malkinson, Chief Operating Officer, Protocol, Governance and Communications.
Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb and International Relations Officer Marius Bischoff attended the Lithuanian National Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Embassy of Lithuania in London, where Sheila gave the keynote address. There was a live video link with Samuel Bak, an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor artist who started painting at the age of nine. His “Stations in Life” exhibition will be on display in a museum bearing his name in Vilnius.
EDUCATION A Jewish Living Tour took place at Borehamwood & Elstree Synagogue for 85 Year 11 students and seven members of staff from Farnborough Hill School in Surrey. The group was welcomed by Rabbi Alex Chapper and received explanations in smaller groups on topics delivered by our volunteer guides. This was followed by a moving talk by Holocaust survivor Renee Salt. Lunch on site was provided by Eli’s Pizza, and the Farnborough group was joined by students from Yavneh College for an afternoon programme of ‘speed dating on Jewish subjects’. We are grateful to Boreham & Elstree synagogue for agreeing to host this large group three days before Rosh Hashanah. Thanks are due to Rabbi Chapper, to our volunteer guides: Dorothy Sadlik, Stephen Forman, Jenny Freedman, Frances Martin, Sandra Rose, Deputies Syd Braham and Bob Vertes and Hayley Simon, Head of Jewish Studies at Yavneh College. GOVERNMENT Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg attended a multifaith roundtable with Rehman Chishty MP, the Prime Minister’s new Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief.
INTERFAITH Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg attended an event of the Camden Faith Leaders Forum, looking at constructive means of discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in schools and with faith groups, with a presentation by Solutions Not Sides. HERITAGE Archives and Heritage Manager Dawn Waterman attended a workshop at Historic England looking at future Government funding for places of worship. Copyright © 2019 Board of Deputies of British Jews, All rights reserved. You are receiving this email because you subscribed on our website, or because you are a deputy or designated under-35 observer of the Board of Deputies. If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please click here.