Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and International Relations Officer David Walshvisited Paris where they joined the World Jewish Congress Jewish Diplomatic Corps training programme. David addressed the group on effective diplomatic engagement and Phil led a discussion on enhancing the global Jewish effort around interfaith engagement and minority outreach. David and Phil also participated in a number of meetings with UNESCO Ambassadors and Officials. David led a delegation to meet with the British Ambassador to UNESCO. David and Phil repeatedly raised the issue of the politicisation of UNESCO around Israel and called on representatives and officials to return to UNESCO’s core mandate. It was clear that many representatives and officials agree totally, but that a number of states continue to hijack the agenda. Phil and David also participated in bilateral and multilateral meetings with our French sister organisation Le Crif, discussing the impact of Brexit, the situation of antisemitism in both countries and the rise of extremism and populism on both sides of the Channel.
The Board of Deputies has expressed solidarity with the Jewish community in Belgium as it files a legal challenge to Belgium’s Constitutional Court regarding a law passed by the Walloon Parliament banning Shechita – the kosher slaughter of animals. Read a full report here.
President Jonathan Arkush and David Walsh participated in a working lunch with the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevicius, the Lithuanian Ambassador HE Renatas Norkus and Member of Parliament Arunas Gelunas ahead of the Litvak Days event organised by the Embassy to promote Lithuanian Jewish heritage. Jonathan Arkush and David Walsh subsequently attended Litvak Days.
Vice President Sheila Gewolband Grassroots and Advocacy Consultant Steven Jaffe attended the book launch of Uprooted, by Lyn Julius, a historical account of the displacement of over 800,000 Jews from Arab lands in the 20th century.
Steven Jaffe spoke to leading Scottish Israel activists at a gathering organised by the Embassy of Israel.
Interfaith and Social Action Officer Anthony Silkoff chaired the inaugural meeting of the Jewish Interfaith Practitioners Forum, bringing together a group of Jewish professionals and volunteers involved in interfaith work. Phil Rosenberg also attended. If you are a Jewish person involved in interfaith work, and you would like to be added to the mailing list for future meetings/events, please contact Diane.Gies@bod.org.uk with details of any organisations you are affiliated with.
||Anthony Silkoff attended a day of dialogue between Rabbis and Methodist Church Ministers, organised by Revd Bruce Thompson and Methodist Friends of Judaism.
Anthony Silkoff attended a roundtable at Lambeth Palace to discuss how faith groups can help with the resettlement of refugees in Britain, alongside other partners such as World Jewish Relief, The Methodist Church, The Church of England, Salvation Army, Movement for Reform Judaism, and other Muslim and Christian organisations.
Jonathan Arkush, Vice President Marie van der Zyl,Chief Executive Gillian Merronand Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon attended the Labour Friends of Israel annual lunch.
As Vice President of the Board of Deputies and a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London, Sheila Gewolb attended an Evening of Faith Recognition and Celebration organised by the 3FF and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith, which recognised ‘unsung heroes’ of London’s faith and belief communities. Award winners included Alyth (North Western Reform Synagogue) Refugee Drop-in project, which welcomes over 70 people each month; and Chaverim Youth Organisation, which has run after-school and school-holiday activities and leadership programmes for thousands of young Charedim for over 25 years.
Education Policy Adviser Dawn Waterman took part in a round-table discussion at the Department for Education chaired by Ian Bauckham on relationships education, including relationships and sex education for older pupils, and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE). Following amendments to the Children and Social Work Act, relationships education will be mandatory in all primary schools and sex and relationships education will be mandatory in all secondary schools. The Act is clear that faith schools will have flexibility in how they deliver these subjects so that they can do so in accordance with their religious ethos.