Chair’s Message: May 2014

In the last newsletter Chief Executive Simon Johnson outlined the Jewish Leadership Councils new eight point strategic objective plan. Part of the strategy spoke about the desire to further engage with the Charedi community. In the very near future Simon will be meeting with key figures in the Charedi community. They are an integral part of our community and there will be a lot to take from this visit. I know Simon is looking forward to continue to build and further develop the relationships between the JLC and Charedi organisations.

Simon has also been busy travelling across the UK to demonstrate the JLC’s commitment to areas and organisations that are not just London based. We recognise the need to be available to organisations and communities nationwide and having just returned from a visit to Leeds he will shortly be going to Manchester. Being from the north himself he has first-hand experience of the fantastic work the organisations based there do and being available to them is vital for the communities continued success.

Recently we commemorated Yom HaShoah, the Annual Jewish Remembrance Day for Victims of the Holocaust. This is one of the most poignant dates in the yearly calendar and reminds us how vitally important Holocaust commemoration and education is to our Community but also to all faiths and peoples across the world. With the number of survivors getting smaller our own responsibility grows to guard their stories and make them accessible to future generations. Our responsibility to keep alive the memory of those who perished is equally important. The cry “Never Again” must find a truth and a reality in the affairs of Man and we all have a role in ensuring that this goal is attained. I encourage you to take a moment and give your thoughts about how best the Holocaust can be remembered and make these known to the Holocaust Commission. You can download the form at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-holocaust-commission-keeping-the-memory-alive. The deadline is Friday 30th May and further details of the work the commission is currently doing can be found in this newsletter.

The JLC has recently undergone a process for appointing new Trustees. Eight were elected by the Council of Members, three were appointed and the President of the Board of Deputies is a standing member. I am pleased to announce that the new JLC Trustees will be Bill Benjamin; Adrian Cohen; Mick Davis; Debbie Fox; Ruth Green; Steven Lewis; James Libson; Edward Misrahi; Leo Noe; Stephan Pack; Gerald Ronson and Vivian Wineman. The positions will be taken up shortly. Finally, I would like to place on record my sincere thanks and gratitude to Sir Trevor Chinn, Poju Zabludowicz and Nigel Layton who have stepped down from the Board of Trustees. Their contribution to the success and growth of the JLC and its members has been immense. The whole community should be grateful to them for their service, time, support and dedication to the JLC. It would be remiss of me if I did not specifically highlight the contribution of Sir Trevor over the past many years in so many guises and for so many organisations – Trevor is an inspiration to us all. He and Susan are exemplars of communal service to both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of Great Britain and I thank them for being such excellent role models. I am pleased and grateful that I am able to continue to draw upon Trevor’s vast experience and wise counsel and that he will of course continue to contribute to our Community’s welfare going forward.