On 2nd November 2017, Jewish communities around the world, and in particular, the British Jewish community will come together to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration; the 67 words that led to the creation of the State of Israel. In order to mark this historic occasion, our community has come together to host a number of events and provide a wide range of resources that will mark the anniversary under the banner of the ‘Balfour 100’ campaign. The Balfour 100 campaign launched on 2nd November this year.
The Balfour 100 Steering committee is comprised of 23 British-Jewish communal and Israel advocacy organisations. The committee is chaired by Lord Jonathan Kestenbaum, and is divided into sub-committees, each responsible for delivering different aspects of the project. These include Education, Communications, Website, Dinner and Manchester Committees.
Balfour 100 has launched a comprehensive website and online resource that provides authoritative, historical and accurate details about the Balfour Declaration. It has annotated versions of the 5 Declaration drafts, biographies of key players involved, and reactions to the Declaration of historic figures. There is also be an extensive timeline of events leading up to the Declaration, as well as a shorter, more comprehensive slideshow which will have questions and answers relating to each event in the timeline. In the new year, the website will have space for contemporary commentary, and will also have the capacity for other organisations and groups to upload events for visitors to see where the next/nearest Balfour event will be. It will also see the addition of material which shows the pivotal role that Manchester played in the story of how the Declaration came to be.
The year ahead will see the Balfour 100 committee working on a number of projects.
A wide range of educational resources have been designed to educate a variety of audiences on the Balfour Declaration, and are available to download from the website. These include a Balfour Basics ‘primer’, FAQ, informal education programmes, and more. There will be additional resources uploaded in the new year.
The Jewish community will also be holding a cross-denominational ‘Balfour Shabbat’ on 3rd and 4th November 2017. Synagogues across all British Jewish denominations and movements will be marking the Balfour Centenary in their own way on this Shabbat.
On 1st November 2017 there will be a Balfour lecture. Advice on how to secure tickets to the event will be released in 2017.
There will be a number of events and conferences between November 2016 and November 2017. Academics are planning various key note lectures and lecture series around the country. Community groups in Manchester are hosting a large scale event on October 31st 2017. The Balfour website will also host details of Balfour related events around the country, and there will be a communal calendar where this information will also be readily accessible.
You can explore the Balfour 100 website at www.balfour100.com.