Report On The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region 2016

The JRC holds regularly meetings for its affiliates on the first Sunday of every month. Members of the JRC have the privilege of being addressed by a range of excellent speakers at these events. This year’s speakers have included MPs Luciana Berger and Ivan Lewis; Iris Chaytow of Jewish Women’s Aid; Daniel Berke, Co - chair of the Zionist Central Council (ZCC) and Robert Festenstein, Co-chair was of the Jewish Human Rights Watch.

As part of its November meeting the JRC ran a Social Media and Advocacy Training programme. The aim of this programme was to increase the communications knowledge and skills of the Representatives who are running the various Jewish organisations in the North West. In December the meeting was addressed by MP Ruth Smeeth who described how she had received six anti-Semitic death threats in the past six months and how this has made her even more determined to fight anti-Semitism wherever she finds it.

Earlier in the year the JRC had hosted a very lively debate on the EU Referendum attended by over 200 people. This took place 41 years to the day since the original EU Referendum in 1975. Sajjad Karim, Conservative MEP and Ben Rich, Liberal Democrat, presented the case for “Remain” whilst Graham Stringer, Labour MP, and Stephen Woolfe UKIP MEP, presented the case for “Brexit”.

In November the JRC ran two extremely successful events, the annual Community Challenge Quiz and the Manchester Jewish Community Awards, the latter in conjunction with the Jewish Volunteering Network and The Jewish Telegraph. Both events attracted large numbers of people and together with the JRC’s annual Yom Hashoah event have become land mark events in the calendar of the Jewish Community.

Communications are seen as a vital part of the JRC’s operation and to support this the JRC maintains its own website (www.jewishmanchester.org), Facebook (jewishmanchester) and Twitter (@JewishMCR) pages as well as a regular newspaper ‘RepPresents’. The JRC also publishes an Annual Year Book that sits on the desks of more than 600 organisations and individuals and is an excellent source of Jewish communal reference, with an extensive “Yellow Pages” section.

Behind the scenes, members of the JRC engage continuously as representatives of the Jewish Community at a wide range of official and communal events endeavouring to establish and maintain good relations with organisations both within and outside of the Jewish Community together those of other faiths.