Exec's Summary: June 2013

Last week I attended the Israeli Presidential Conference, which focussed on the theme of tomorrow. I was privileged, together with my American counterpart Malcolm Hoenlein to play a role in a panel discussion on "Changing the Guard", focussing on transitioning younger people into key leadership roles. I showcased our homegrown UK programmes such as Lead, Adam Science and the New Leadership Network. It was refreshing to hear that such initiatives are regarded as global examples of best practice and that the Adam Science programme is now being emulated in Israel itself.

On a recent visit to Birmingham I met with a senior and longstanding local communal leader who said something that I thought was particularly striking. He explained that the elderly care centre had, in recent years, become a thriving central hub of local community life. He was not referring to the trend of our community becoming an increasingly aged one (a trend that the JPR Community Survey will shortly shed more light upon) but to the integral role that this modern and welcoming facility plays in wider communal life. We rarely hear about Jewish social care in such terms, but that sector of our community plays a critical role in securing the future well-being of our community. In this context I am pleased that the JLC has been asked by Jewish CareNorwood and Nightingale, together with a number of other care providers to help facilitate the first ever comprehensive mapping exercise encompassing the entire sector.

Continuing the theme of Social Care I wish a hearty mazeltov to a valued member of the JLC CEO group Leon Smith, on completing 40 years of service at Nightingale and soon to be moving on to his exciting new role as a roving Ambassador for the charity. Leon is the consummate communal professional and we look forward to continuing to benefit from his wisdom and expertise.

The JLC and the Board of Deputies have embarked upon a community-wide consultation examining future roles of our organisations and the central architecture of the community. My recent Jewish News Op Ed on this topic (available here) tries to set this debate in context and we continue to welcome feedback from the wider community on these issues.

As reported below significant progress has been delivered around the first phase of our work to implement the findings of our School's Commission in relation to the reorganisation of Jewish Schooling in Redbridge. It is refreshing to see how our community has
pulled together to make the exciting new community campus a reality and secure the availability of Jewish education in North East London for another generation.

The JLC and its PaJeS Division along with the Jewish education community were devastated to hear about the tragic passing of Dr Dena Coleman z”l. Dena was an inspirational Headteacher and a role model for teachers and pupils alike, and we extend our deepest condolences to all her family on this tragic loss. To read a blog piece by PaJeS Executive Director Alastair Falk, click here.