We bring together the major British Jewish organisations to work for the good of the Jewish community

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Chanukah in the Square 2019

Join thousands of people as we celebrate the first night of Chanukah in the heart of London. A family fun event with stalls, entertainment and food this is not to be missed!

Keep up to date with all the festivities here.

To celebrate Chanukah we have three amazing competitions on offer.

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Competition One - 18+ years old to enter

In partnership with El Al, we are offering you the amazing opportunity to win two return flights from London to Tel Aviv by simply answering a question. To enter the competition simply complete this form and a lucky winner will be chosen. T&Cs apply. 

Competition Two - 14-17 years old to enter (guardian approval must be received to enter)

We are giving one lucky person the chance to win a brand new 16GB Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet. To be in with a chance of winning, simply enter the competition by writing a special Chanukah poem that has a minimum of 3 verses and a maximum of 5 verses with the words 'Chanukah in the Square' included. Please then upload the poem to this form and a winner will be chosen from all the applicants. T&Cs apply.

Competition Three - 5-13 years old to enter (guardian approval must be received to enter)

Together with Jewish Interactive we are giving one lucky person the chance to bring their written words to life by way of an amazing game which will be posted on the Ji Tap Platform at www.jitap.net and available to over 500,000 people across the world. Your own life like avatar will also be created to help promote the game. To enter you must write a special Chanukah poem that has a minimum of 2 verses and a maximum of 4 verses with the words 'Chanukah in the Square' included. To enter, upload your poem to this form. T&Cs apply.

Jewish Leadership Council Releases Statutory Accounts for 2018

The Jewish Leadership Council has released its Statutory Accounts for the year ended December 2018.

The JLC has regained its financial footing and finished the year with an overall surplus across the organisation and its divisions. The overall surplus for 2018 is £164,753.

2018 was a year that was dominated by two high profile events. We celebrated Israel’s 70th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales and the year marked the beginning of an unplanned campaign to eradicate rising levels of anti-Jewish racism within the Labour Party, starting with the Enough is Enough protest in Parliament Square.

The JLC also acknowledge that 2018 was a tough year as, with the agreement of the Charity Commission, the JLC launched the Independent Review into Historical Allegations. The report of the Independent Review was published by the JLC at the end of January 2019. The report made a series of recommendations that the JLC has been implementing throughout 2019. The costs of the Independent Review created a significant challenge, and the year end performance is very pleasing in the circumstances.

The Charity Commission also issued an action plan which has been implemented. The Charity Commission have now closed the case file.

The JLC has continued to make progress on two major initiatives launched by our Chair Jonathan Goldstein.

The Elderly Care Commission led by Sir Howard Bernstein and comprising the Chairs of the major community elderly care providers and experts from within the community, assisted on a pro bono basis by McKinsey & Co made significant progress in analysing the needs and challenges of the elderly care sector in the future.

The Youth Mental Health Taskforce that was established in 2017 has now successfully initiated a three year pilot project in five Jewish schools to improve the wellbeing of our young people. The pilot involves placing wellbeing practitioners in these schools and empowering those practitioners with support, access to programme materials, a programme of activities, signposting and professional support.

Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said:

“The JLC has continued to invest heavily in long term strategic priorities of our community, including in social care, political activity and defending our community against rising anti-Jewish racism within the Labour Party. I am delighted that we have increased the breadth of our donor base since becoming Chair and proud of all that we have achieved to date. We have been able to do so thanks to our members, donors and the dedication of the staff team, led by our Chief Executive Simon Johnson. The JLC, along with PaJeS and Lead continue to provide unique and essential support for our whole community.”

Latest blogs

Playing With Fire

Rachel_Creeger_Lights.jpgI’ve always been a fan of Chanukah, I mean - 8 days of doughnuts, what’s not to like? But growing up, there was one aspect that excited me the most.  

For some, it’s the thrill of presents, whether 8 small or 1 large. I remember my friends and siblings using the Argos catalogue as some kind of mystical advent calendar, leaving it in obvious places with relevant page corners turned down in hopes of receiving the latest fad. 

For others, it’s the joy of candle lighting, the chance to play with fire in a parentally sanctioned way. Show me the child who doesn’t enjoy turning the candle just that bit too long when trying to drip the wax into the holder for added safety...

And those arguments about what exactly constitutes a latke? Just potato? Potato and egg? Onion or not? Or most controversial of all, my grandmother’s matzo meal batter with neither potato or onion, served with sugar and cinnamon after candle lighting? Readers, I am imagining your horrified faces at that suggestion, even my own husband is probably forcing a smile at seeing me in print whilst screaming inside “BUT THOSE ARE BUBBELAS! FOR PESACH!!!” (Trust me, matzo meal latkes rock. Worth every calorie).

But I’m a showbiz luvvie, so above the smell of the grease and the roar of the fryer, it was all about the Chanukah concerts. Whether in the synagogue hall, school or community centre, these events were the highlight of my year. Even Purim couldn’t hold a candle to them. Heading out in your costume on a dark wintry night seemed like the height of glamour. The building would be decorated, the Ladies Guild / PTA / Volunteers would have put out tables of treats, there would be games and activities - dreidel spinning for the kids, roulette for the adults (same same, but different), eating doughnuts without licking your lips (oh no! I’ll have to try again!) And before that, we would get to perform.

Read more >

Simon Johnson: Tackling Racism

Over the Summer, and since June 2019, I have spent a fair amount of time with leaders of Jewish communities and senior representatives of Jewish communal organisations from around the world.

There had been one topic that has been at the forefront of their mind- antisemitism.  And this global focus amongst jewish communal leaders on the topic is leading to a slight policy difference with us in the UK; which is ironic, since the high profile focus on anti-Jewish racism in the Labour Party here in the UK is one of the factors that is cited for an increasingly hard line approach on the issue coming out of the United States community and Israel.

Malcolm Hoenlein, the outgoing Executive Vice President of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations,  made a speech at a gathering of jewish communal leaders in Israel in June in which he described there being a “global war against the Jews”. For him, from his vantage point, the stakes were that high. Of course, he is able to take a much more global view of the threats around the world than we do in the UK, looking parochially at our own issues. But even we, as leaders of Jewish communal organisations in the UK, with all the threats that we are familiar with- including record numbers of reported antisemitic incidents and our main Opposition Party under investigation by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission- would not describe what we face in the UK in such bellicose terms. Perhaps it is our typical English reserve and stiff upper lip attitude, but we have sought frequently not to use alarmist language in confronting the challenges that we face.

The United States Government has begun to make policy interventions in this area. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has stated that it is US Government policy than anti-Zionism is the same as antisemitism.

Read more >

We say to the Labour Party that Enough is Enough. It is time to deal with antisemitism within the Labour Party that has grown in recent years. Click here for updates on our campaign.

Enough Is Enough on Labour Antisemitism