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Jonathan Goldstein Pays Tribute to Brian Kerner

Following sad news of Brian Kerner’s passing last night, JLC Chair, Jonathan Goldstein pays tribute:


Brian was driven by a love and commitment to British Jews and Israel, but also a passion for getting things done efficiently. He would always dryly observe that there were thousands of Jewish organisations in Britain, all replicating each other's work. Brian's lifelong push for cooperation and collaboration led him to have a hand in the creation of many of the institutions of UK Jewish life.

As chair of the United Israel Appeal, Brian led the merger with Jewish Continuity that created the UJIA. At the start of the second Intifada, he brought together different Jewish and pro-Israel organisations in a Cross-Community Coordination Group (CCG) to plan for the crisis, and ended establishing and helping to lead BICOM. As chair of the CCG, Brian was also involved in setting up the JLC itself. 

Brian was one of the first Jewish leaders to recognise the threat of the anti-Israel boycott movement. He founded the Fair Play Campaign, the Jewish world's first standing anti-boycott umbrella group, and acted as its Co Chairman.

Anyone who worked with Brian will also remember his sharp wit, his occasionally-risqué sense of humour and his love of Arsenal football club. Brian was a dedicated fundraiser who was always willing to lend support of his time, his resources, his connections and his passion.

The British Jewish community was immensely enriched by Brian's work, and is poorer for his passing. I wish his wife Sylvia and family comfort and pray that his memory will be a blessing. 

JLC Board & Council of Membership Change

JLC PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                                      

Thursday 20th December 2018

JLC Board & Council of Membership Change

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced that Gerald Ronson CBE has agreed to lead, jointly with Lord Feldman, the national fundraising effort for the Memorial to the Holocaust and Learning Centre.  Following this announcement, the Jewish Leadership Council (‘JLC’) has been informed that Gerald Ronson CBE is stepping down from the JLC’s Board and Council of Membership to focus on his new role; the changes are with immediate effect. 

Commenting, Jonathan Goldstein, JLC Chairman said:

“On behalf of everyone at the JLC, I would like to thank Gerald for the tremendous contribution he has made to the JLC since the organisation was founded in 2003.  Gerald is one of the greatest leaders in our community and has been an unparalleled mentor for me and so many others.”

Gerald Ronson CBE, commented:

“As 2019 approaches, I have been reviewing my business and Community commitments.  I have agreed to support the Government in leading the fundraising campaign for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.  I expect that this very important project will take a considerable amount of my time and, coupled with my role as Chairman of the Community Security Trust, the work of my Foundation, and my business interests, I believe that it is time for me to step down from the Jewish Leadership Council.  The JLC plays a fundamental role in our community and I am proud to have been of service for the last 15 years; the JLC will continue to have my support and guidance whenever it is needed.”


Latest blogs

Jami's Head On Shabbat

JLC CEO Simon Johnson writes about Jami's Mental Health Awareness Shabbat this week.

This article first appeared in the Jewish Telegraph 4/01/19


Jami's Head On Shabbat

For this first column of 2019, I want to look ahead to next Shabbos, Parshas Bo, on 12th January 2019, which is Mental Health Awareness Shabbat, promoted by our member organisation, JAMI. It has the working title of “Head On” and, as in previous years, it will hope to make congregants in the hundreds of shuls, which are participating, more aware of issues of Mental wellbeing.

It seems that 2018 was dominated by stories about antisemitism in politics. Certainly, that was the major theme of my columns in 2018.

But, whilst all those issues were being dealt with, the overall work of the JLC continued, but perhaps without any similar fanfare.

The subject of mental wellbeing, especially among young people has been a major thread of the JLC’s work with our members in 2018.  We have tried to make this a priority for our work.

Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. They can also be times of stress and apprehension.

The expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows.

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.

Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience.

Evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent health brings benefits not just to adolescents’ health, both in the short- and the long-term, but also to economies and society. 

Prevention begins with being aware of and understanding the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness.

It is this belief in wellbeing, resilience and prevention, which has lain behind much of the work that we and our members have focussed on through the year.

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Enough Is Enough on Labour Antisemitism