A Message From Our Chair - Jonathan Goldstein July 2017

 

A collaborative, coordinated and considered JLC will meet the challenges and uncertainty we face as a community. Working together is the key to our collective success.

Britain today is divided, confused and polarised. Our political discourse is more antagonistic and less inclusive. From London to Manchester, our streets, markets and places of worship are the targets of terror attacks, increasing fear and unrest pervading our daily life and the way in which we look at our fellow citizens. Growing economic inequality, which manifested itself so vividly and tragically in the Grenfell Tower fire, is threatening to unravel the fragile fabric of our diverse society.

Yet I am eternally optimistic because, fundamentally, I believe that human agency has the capacity to make a difference in the life of every single one of us, in the life of our community and our country. We do so by coming together, by pooling resources and by maximising our potential. Our Jewish community is greater than the sum of its parts. We set an example by working together in good times and bad. And it is for this reason, that we – a group comprising just 0.2% of the UK’s population – are able to punch so far above our weight. It is for this reason that the JLC exists.

The JLC’s goal is to guarantee the longevity, vitality and success of Anglo Jewry. As Chair, my priority is to bring people together in the most collaborative, coordinated and considered way possible to solve the long-term problems we face as a community. The JLC brings together the best of our community. Our 33 member organisations each make a unique and fundamental contribution to our communal and individual lives. By bringing people together, we have the capacity to ensure that the right people take the right decisions to address the burning issues we must confront.

In order to do so, we need leadership, which involves pushing limits and stepping out of your comfort zone. Our community is thirsty for more people to step up and the JLC is at the forefront of developing and promoting communal leadership and responsibility. I am therefore delighted to be addressing “Leading In” on 10th July as one of my first public events as JLC Chair. The event is run by Lead, our leadership development division, and will focus on organisational leadership and I hope to see you all there.

Over the next three years, the JLC will lead by example, making a concerted effort to tackle some of the long-term, strategic challenges we face. We are laying the groundwork for a comprehensive effort to ensure the financial sustainability of our community – addressing cost, duplication and waste. We are increasing our efforts beyond London to guarantee that Jews all across the country have a voice and to effectively represent their needs. We are developing educational initiatives to train, nurture and retain good teachers in Jewish schools and to empower our children to be prouder of and more confident in their Jewish heritage and connection to our ancestral homeland. As I set out in my manifesto, I am keen to reach out to groups across our community to make sure that our “big tent” is warm and welcoming to all.

Reaching out beyond London is the first in a series of steps to realise the commitments in my manifesto and I am proud that Mark Adlestone OBE has accepted the JLC Board’s invitation to join as a trustee. Mark’s expertise across social care, and the optimisation of charitable resources, as well as his understanding of Jewish life outside London, make him a profound asset to the JLC.

The JLC is and will continue to be a force for good – to move the community forward by encouraging collaboration and cooperation. For that, we need your help. So help us reshape Jewish education for the next generation, help us guarantee that our outstanding charities can continue providing superb services to all in need, and help us reflect and represent the needs of our membership – and through them those of the community – to enable all Jews across our community to live up to their dreams. Challenges will undoubtedly come our way, but if we come together there is no limit to what we can achieve.