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The Zionist Federation Annual Dinner

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In March 2017 JLC member organisation the Zionist Federation hosted their annual dinner where they were joined by Moshe Ya’alon, the former Israeli defence minister.

Introduced by ambassador Mark Regev as an “Israeli hero”, he said for too many it’s “not about occupation since ’67 it’s about occupation since ’48. It’s about our very existence”. He attacked the “misconceptions” about the region that persist in International and public discourse.

While he was prepared to give up land for peace and firmly rejected the idea of annexing Area C, he suggested it was futile while Israel doesn’t even feature in Palestinian textbooks and payments are made to terrorists. He said: “Without dealing with education there’s no chance of a better future for them.”

Reflecting the view of the prime minister the one-time IDF chief of staff insisted the refusal of “too many parties in our tough neighbourhood” to recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jews was the core of the conflict. “We’re still fighting our independence war until today,” he said. “This is ignored in many circles.”

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JLC Scotland Director Peter Speirs looks at the referendum controversy

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced on Monday 13 March her intention to hold another referendum on Scottish independence. The casus belli for this is the disparity between the proportion of people in Scotland who voted to stay in the EU (62%) and the UK-wide decision to leave. As the holding of a referendum is widely perceived as a matter reserved to Westminster, the Prime Minister refused to hold such a referendum until after the Brexit negotiations. The Scottish Parliament has now voted to empower the First Minister to hold negotiations with the UK Government about temporarily devolving the power to hold such a referendum immediately. The opinion polling has generally shown no statistically significant change to the levels of support and opposition to independence since 2014. Polls also show that around half of the population does not want to hold a referendum in the near future, whilst around a third do. In essence, virtually none of those who voted No in 2014 want another referendum, and around two thirds of those who voted Yes do. It may be the case, however, that those who do not seek another referendum want the Scottish Parliament to vote to not hold one, rather than for the Prime Minister to unilaterally decide that one cannot take place.

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The CST Holds Its 2017 Annual Dinner

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The CST annual dinner was held in March and guests were joined by The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd MP, who was the guest of honour for the evening. The dinner is CST’s main fundraising event of the year. It was sponsored by Deloitte and attended by around 1,000 guests, including donors, politicians, Police officers, Jewish community partners and other supporters of CST’s work protecting our Jewish community.

The dinner was attended by politicians from several different parties, including Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson MP; Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron MP; SNP leader in Westminster Angus Robertson MP; Sir Eric Pickles, UK Special Envoy for Post Holocaust Issues to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; and John Mann MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.

Police officers who attended to show their support for CST and for the Jewish community included newly-appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick; National Police Chiefs Council chair Chief Constable Sara Thornton; Essex Police Chief Constable Steven Kavanagh; Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey; Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling; and Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan of Greater Manchester Police who is also NPCC lead for the Jewish Community.

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Reshet Update - March 2017

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Opportunities to develop

Professionals from synagogues, Jewish schools, youth charities and organisations from across the community have come together every month since October 2016 to increase their skills as well as expand their networks.    The Reshet Professional Development Programme aimed to increase expertise in coaching and mentoring as well as to increase engagement of colleagues who are all working in informal Jewish education in numerous communal settings.

‘I have learned something new at every session and have met people who care about working with young people as much as I do!’

The programme is enabling professionals to lead through coaching and mentoring techniques, benefiting organisations and the young people they serve.

Opportunities to learn

More than 115 educators from Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and London attended the Reshet Healthy Relationships Conference in February 2017. Supporting our community’s young people to think critically about the healthy relationships they create with themselves, others and wider society is the task that sits heavily on the shoulders of many Jewish youth professionals, teachers and Rabbis. In 2016, Reshet developed a network forum, bringing together communal expertise from Jami, Streetwise, Keshet UK, Hasmonean (Girls) and Jewish Women’s Aid, aiming to create an opportunity to for educators to gain ‘hands on’ knowledge in how to best support our youth. Rabbi Daniel Epstein, lay-leader and senior accredited counsellor Ruth Green, Rebbetzin and therapist Naomi Lehrer and keynote speaker, Natasha Devon MBE, highlighted the need to be young person focused and the essential role Jewish youth professionals and volunteers play in the lives of Jewish young people.

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Lead Update - March 2017

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On Tuesday 21st March, Lead held the first of their three Leading In sessions for 2017. We were joined by Group Captain Mark Hunt OBE who led a TED talk on his Personal Leadership journey. It was truly an inspiring story where participants heard how he rose through the RAF ranks and his advice on leadership;

-          Believe in yourself and others

-          Understand when to be an authoritative leader and when to take a step back and be a non-authoritative leader.

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Marc Levy: “Devo Manc” and the Jewish Community

On Thursday 4th May 2017, Greater Manchester will be electing their first Mayor.  The newly elected Mayor will be tasked with implementing the agenda set out in the “Devo Manc” agreement, reached between the Combined Authority and Government in 2014.  The new Mayor will effectively become the 11th Member of the Combined Authority joining the Leadership of the 10 Greater Manchester Councils.

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Nicola Richards: Midlands Update March 2017

The West Midlands region, similarly to Manchester, is also undergoing political change with the election of the first West Midlands Mayor on May 4th 2017. The West Midlands Combined Authority incorporates eighteen local authorities and four Local Enterprise Partnerships. 

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Karen Phillips & Mark Cunningham: All Change at The Fed

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The Manchester communal baton is about to be passed to Mark Cunningham.

Retirement isn’t necessarily the word I would use. For me it is about leaving the CEO role carried since ’97 to make space in life for other pursuits. I remain as Deputy to the Lord Lieutenant in Manchester and an Ambassador for The Fed.

Interestingly, the decision came literally overnight after being decidedly unready beforehand. It was a waking up feeling...the “I’m done” moment.

This in no way reflected neither my loss of loyalty to The Fed nor disenchantment with social care in Manchester. It was more about the need to spread my wings, to follow other pursuits and spend more time with the family whilst I had the drive and energy to do so.

Manchester is undergoing huge change and is about to enter an exciting time. Devolution in Manchester and Healthier Together alongside the stringent, statutory cuts we all face, create the perfect storm. The Fed under Mark Cunningham’s leadership with the support of our excellent Board led by Mark Adlestone, will be more than capable of meeting these challenges. The two Marks will form a great partnership – a new era.

Thanks to all the organisations and to JLC for their good counsel over the years.

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Jewish School Awards 2017

PaJeS and the Jewish News welcomed 200 guests to the Jewish Schools Awards on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at JW3 in London. The evening began with a canape reception catered by Zest in the restaurant and café area of JW3, followed by the awards ceremony in the Howard Hall. The evening was generously sponsored by Marc and Emma Samuels of the Emmes Foundation and Andrew and Orly Wolfson of the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust.

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Judith Flacks: JLC Refugee Campaign

The Jewish Leadership Council of Trustees recently voted in favour of calling on our member organisations to support local authorities and the national government to help the process of welcoming young refugees appropriately seeking refuge here. 

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