Sir Mick Davis announced this week that he will not be seeking re-election as Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council. In a letter to the JLC’s Council of Membership, Sir Mick explained that “the time is right to allow others with equal passion to take the Community forward with a fresh vision.”
Sir Mick has been the Chairman of the JLC since 2009. He was also the Chairman of UJIA between 2006 and 2012. Under his leadership, the JLC has expanded significantly. The umbrella body now comprises 32 of the leading British Jewish organisations. “By working together, our member organisations have achieved and will achieve far more than we ever could working alone,” wrote Sir Mick, who added that “Far from being unrepresentative, the JLC has provided real representation for the 21st century British Jewish community.”
He also highlighted many of the JLC’s achievements, such as its education commission and the work of the Partnership for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), its work to maintain and strengthen communal support for Israel and its Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership.
Sir Mick added that the JLC is:
“better equipped than ever to engage across our community and our country in support of our members and to meet the strategic imperatives of the community. I believe that the work of the JLC is vital in nurturing a vibrant, forward-thinking and outward-facing Jewish Community of Great Britain. It is inspiring work to be a part of. It has been inspiring work to lead.”
CEO of the JLC, Simon Johnson said:
“It has been a privilege for me to work with Sir Mick as my Chairman. I have been inspired by his strategic thought, generosity, vision and passion for the community. Mick's vision and drive has taken the JLC to a strong position from which to meet the Community's future challenges."
JLC opens nominations for its next Chair
The JLC has sent nomination forms to Council members for the election of Chair and two available trustee positions. Members of Council, including Vice Presidents and Trustees are eligible to stand.
Nominations close at 5pm on Wednesday April 5, 2017. Candidates require at least two nominations to be considered. The JLC will make the list of eligible candidates public on April 6. If there is more than one candidate, hustings will take place ahead of the JLC Council meeting on May 9, where Sir Mick will step down and members of the council will vote for his successor.
A number of figures from across the community, the UK and Israel have paid tribute to Sir Mick’s contribution to communal life.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said:
“It has been a tremendous privilege for me to have worked alongside Sir Mick Davis, particularly in his roles as Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council and Chair of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission. Since arriving to these shores, he has relentlessly and generously committed himself to the betterment of Jewish life here in the UK, in Israel and beyond. I have personally cherished his friendship and wise counsel and I have no doubt that he will continue to play a most valuable role in the future of the Jewish people.”
Reform Judaism’s Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said:
“Mick Davis is in the tradition of the greatest of Jewish leaders: leading by example with determination and straight talking. He brings courage, warmth and endless generosity of heart as well as philanthropic generosity. Our community has been transformed through his leadership. What we see of his work is the tip of the iceberg – there is so much that people don’t know and Mick doesn’t mention. I’m excited to see where next he takes his pioneering spirit of Jewish leadership and communal service.”
Michael Gove, who sat on the Holocaust Commission with Sir Mick said:
“Sir Mick Davis is an outstanding leader. He has the courage to speak his mind, even when others disagree, the determination to defend his principles even when it comes at a cost and the drive to translate vision into action.
“His years of service at the JLC have set the standard for communal leadership and the Jewish community and this country are all the better for it. I am proud to count him as a friend and the debt the country owes him is huge”
Ed Balls, who also sat on the Holocaust Commission with Sir Mick, said:
“I had the honour of working alongside Mick on the Holocaust Commission. I saw first-hand his passion, commitment and dedication to ensuring this nation pays fitting tribute to the Holocaust. In this role and as Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, Mick has set an example of quiet determined leadership that I hope will inspire the next generation of communal leaders.”
Senior figures from Israel also paid warm tributes:
Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev said:
“Sir Mick Davis is one of the pillars of British Jewry and I thank him for his friendship and support. I am sure that Sir Mick’s substantial presence in the Community will continue to be felt in whatever roles he assumes in future.”
Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Israeli Labor Party said:
“For more than a decade in leadership roles, Mick's commitment and vision has helped ensure that the British Jewish community is as vibrant, confident and committed to Israel as ever. As he passes the baton to the next JLC Chair, I know that my close personal friend Mick Davis will always work with total passion, dedication and a sense of responsibility for the Jewish people – in the UK, in Israel and around the world.”