Exec's Summary: December 2012

The Inaugural Trustee event, delivered by our LEAD Division saw Trustees of a number of our member organisations come together to share problems and solutions. Early next year our work to support Trustees of communal organisations will continue with a seminar on good practice in Charity Investment led by leading experts in the field.

At this time of year, the Jewish Leadership Council always gears up for national Limmud ConferenceLimmud highlights a Jewish community which values inclusiveness, Jewish values, and education and we value having a presence there. We are delighted to be presenting a number of sessions this year, spanning the JLC agenda. Please come along and hear about our many streams of work. We also participated in the recent regional Limmud conferences, with sessions at Leeds and Scotland.

The community watched closely as Israel launched its defensive operation, Pillar of Defence, last month. Sadly, when there is an escalation in the region, Diaspora Jewish communities are one of the unintended victims. The community's affiliation to Israel and the repercussions of the conflict in the Diaspora are clear. This is why we were particularly distressed when during this tense period, Amnesty International's Campaigns Manager felt it appropriate to take to twitter to 'joke' about three Jewish MPs participating in a debate on the issue. Humour has no place in such a situation, especially not when it is highly offensive and racist. Given that there were many non-Jewish MPs who spoke in support of Israel's actions, signaling the Jewish ones (some of whom actually spoke on community relations) was incredibly pointed. Together with the Board of Deputies, and the Community Security Trust, we have made a formal complaint, requesting that the serious impact of inflammatory rhetoric upon our community be factored into any deliberations. We have been informed that the matter has now been referred to Amnesty's internal and confidential processes for further consideration. As I write, we await details on the outcome of this process.

Over the past year we have, through this newsletter, kept you updated on the work JLC, together with the Board of Deputies and other member organisations such as CST have been undertaking to help the community get to grips with the Government's emerging Localism agenda. The importance of this work is highlighted by the initial analysis of the 2011 census data presented below by JPR's Jon Boyd. I am also pleased that this edition of the newsletter has some solid regional input including a Q & A from the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region.