Rosh Hashanah message from Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush
To read Jonathan’s message click here.
Corbyn urged to be more proactive in the fight against antisemitism
The Board of Deputies has reacted to the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader by urging him to pursue «a more proactive approach to tackling antisemitism».
President Jonathan Arkush said: “Nobody could pretend the last year has been easy in terms of relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community.
“It is imperative that lessons are learned and, in particular, that we see a decidedly firmer and more proactive approach to tackling antisemitism.
“For our part, we will continue to pursue a robust and constructive dialogue on this and all other communal interests and concerns.”
Chief Executive Gillian Merron, Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon were all in Liverpool for the conference, attending events including the Labour Friends of Israel reception, the Jewish Labour Movement rally against antisemitism and the associated training session, a Holocaust Educational Trust-Community Security Trust panel discussion on antisemitism and Holocaust discourse, meetings with faith representatives and leading Labour politicians and officials.
Gillian said: «Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches, to both the main conference and to Tuesday night’s Labour Friends of Israel reception, were a marked improvement on previous interventions, and that must be noted. However, a number of antisemitic incidents at the conference itself show that there is still a problem in the party that needs to be tackled with determination. Going forward we need to see firmer action – not just firmer words – to ensure that this really is a new dawn rather than a false dawn. As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we hope that the leadership will take the opportunity of a new mandate to turn over a new leaf in relations between the Jewish community and the Labour Party.»
While in the city, the Board of Deputies team engaged with students and teachers at King David High School, visited King David Primary School and Kindergarten, met community representatives at Princes Road Synagogue, Stapely Residential and Nursing Home and Merseyside Jewish Community Care. Gillian said: «The community in Liverpool is both warm and vibrant. We received wonderful hospitality wherever we went.»
To read Jonathan Arkush’s comment piece in the Sunday Express, clickhere.
Israel’s former President and Prime Minster Shimon Peres, who died this week aged 93. See tribute below
Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush meets Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of a World Jewish Congress delegation. Reflecting on the hour-long meeting on Monday, Jonathan said: “It was a great privilege to meet Pope Francis. I am left with a strong sense that he is a man of sincerity, decency, great humour and above all informality. All the evidence is that he is a very genuine friend of the Jewish people.” To read Jonathan’s reflections about the meeting in the Jewish News, Click here