Reshet's Professional Development Programme


Reshet is the Hebrew word for network.  The network continues to grow, creating spaces for informal Jewish educators, young people and volunteers to further continuously develop the field.  Reshet continues to make significant impact in the field of Informal Jewish Education.  Reshet is cross-communal, supporting Jewish youth work throughout the UK. Through training, strategic planning, gatherings and interventions, Reshet works with the informal educators who educate Jewish youth.

Professional Development Programme

Developing Informal Educators is an intervention which supports the individual, organisation as well as the field as a whole.  Professional Development is often extremely challenging to find in the field.  Many informal educators work in part-time roles, and high calibre training is often expensive as well as time consuming. Working closely with colleagues at Ella Forums, this initiative began in October 2016, with participants noting they have increased confidence and skills.  Creating a supportive infrastructure for those working with Jewish youth is also helpful for those working in fairly isolated youth organisations.

The group meet monthly, learning new skills with external presenters as well as taking reflective time to assess their own development needs.  An aim of the programme is to further develop coaching and mentoring skills.  Participants also meet separately, outside of monthly meeting sessions, delivering peer coaching and mentoring. This enables participants to practice their skills with each other as well as providing an additional structure to learn from and with each other.  If you would like to join the next intake to the Professional Development Programme, and your work impacts either directly or indirectly on young people, please contact [email protected] for further information.

Safeguarding sharing best practice

Safeguarding young people is everyone’s responsibility.  Safeguarding remains a key priority which Reshet continues to highlight.  By signposting youth organisations to colleagues who can ensure safeguarding policies and their implementation are up to date and fit for purpose, Reshet is working throughout the community on this essential work.  Reshet has brought NSPCC into the network and is able to source qualified and experienced external trainers to facilitate sessions with professional and lay teams.  In June, working with Lead and JVN colleagues, a Safeguarding workshop designed specifically for trustees, was delivered as part of the Jewish Community Trustees Conference.  Organisations throughout the community are sharing best practice in this area of work, ensuring safeguarding children and young people is a communal priority.  If you would like further support on safeguarding young people, please email [email protected]

Recruitment and Retention

The need to work collaboratively and creatively is essential, allowing professionals to find role that are meaningful and interesting as well as able to earn sufficient salaries to support themselves.  This is a new area of work that Reshet is exploring, seeking to understand and share the needs of organisations searching for suitable candidates and for informal educators looking for professional, paid positions.  Our community enjoys the benefits of numerous sabbatical workers too, some of whom continue to work in the community and some who might be interested in doing so, but simply do not find the right professional role. Internships (paid and unpaid) are also ways of gaining additional experience, which may increase the potential for communal recruitment into the field of Informal Jewish Education. 

Healthy Relationships

In February, the Healthy Relationships conference looked at how we address the relationships young people have with themselves, others and society.  The conference has ben a catalyst for young people, Rabbis and informal educators to work together, creating innovative programmes to support our youth. 

This work was also delivered to 60+ madrichim, who will be leading Israel Tours with their Israeli co-madrichim.  The training they received, designed by Reshet, has equipped madrichim to ensure they care for their own well-being as well as caring for their chanichim in their charge.

Reshet Gathering  - Save the Date

The next Reshet gathering will be on the evening of 26th September 2017.  This is a terrific opportunity for informal educators to come together to meet others, learn more about current initiatives in the field and to celebrate successes.  We look forward to welcoming sabbatical workers to the field.  To find out further information about the Reshet gathering, please email [email protected]


Young Norwood In Fine Form Going Into Its 25th Year

The charity Norwood has achieved remarkable things in its 222-year history, with many landmarks along the way – from its foundations as the Jews’ Hospital in Mile End, to securing Royal patronage, to its position today as the UK’s largest, Jewish children’s, family and learning disability charity.

And now another landmark looms on the horizon, as
YN – the charity’s lay network for young leaders and future fundraisers and volunteers – enters its 25th year.

Founded by Norwood’s Chair of Trustees David Ereira, and originally known as ‘Young Norwood’, the YN network was a pioneering project back in 1993, when Jewish charities were struggling to engage with younger members of the community.
Fast forward to 2017, and YN is one of the largest young professional lay networks in the British Jewish community, with nearly 3,000 active participants, something David is rightly proud of; “YN is as current today as it was back in the nineties, if not more so – with members and committees raising incredible funds, but, more importantly, showing what can be achieved if young lay talent is given a platform to shine’.

The idea behind YN is to mentor and develop young lay leaders – those aged 21- 35 – in all aspects of communal and charitable work;
organising and promoting fundraising events, leveraging their networks, volunteering, and raising awareness of the charity and its aims.

Key to this is the recognition that those involved in YN are young professionals with burgeoning careers in high profile sectors, and an ever-increasing social network – so YN offers a programme of high profile social and business events, which also give the opportunity to support Norwood’s vital work. This includes the industry-recognised YN Property Awards Dinner, and YN Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurs.

These events are vital when it comes to raising funds for Norwood’s essential services, with the YN Property Awards Dinner alone raising over £170,000 this year, and YN overall contributing more than £500,000 each and every year.

And it’s YN members themselves who help to organise these events.
In fact, there’s a YN representative on every committee within Norwood, and a member on Norwood’s Board of Trustees.

Ultimately, the aim of YN is to train the community’s young lay leaders to enable them to carry on Norwood’s 222-year history for the next generation – something Sarah Arwas, YN Chair, truly believes in: “YN  represents the future of the charity, and we want to continue to grow our platform and welcome future leaders to get involved as much as they can. 

Whether by joining a committee, attending events, getting involved in a Challenge, or volunteering –  whatever your skills or interests, Norwood will offer something that you will enjoy doing, while at the same time, will support their incredible work in the community”.

As it enters its 25th year, the future looks bright for YN, with new committees being formed and thousands more young people being engaged via new events, new volunteering opportunities, and new routes to patronage – a testament to a new generation who clearly believe in charity and giving back to the community.


Nicola Richards: Midlands update - July 2017

Since March, the Midlands has seen both a Mayoral Election and a General Election and it has been great to work with the community to meet with Candidates and to engage the community in the run up to the election.

Unfortunately, due to the terrible attack in Manchester during the campaign, the hustings organised for Birmingham Jewish Community was cancelled. It was great to have support from all parties to attend the event to speak, and the community were looking forward to asking questions of their candidates. 

I continue to look forward to more meetings with Members of Parliament and with Andy Street, the new Mayor of the West Midlands. Next week, I am attending the LGA (Local Government Association) Conference in Birmingham with Simon Johnson and Local Government Friends of Israel. I will be attending meetings with Local Council Leaders and Chief Executives and providing the briefing of the community I have prepared.

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Judith Flacks: Campaigns update - July 2017

6 Day War: 50 Years On

The JLC together with the Board of Deputies ran a successful social media campaign ‘6 Day War: 50 Years On’ to provide a commemoration of the Six Day War on behalf of the UK Jewish community. It aimed to be an educational tool to explain the War’s dominant features; unprecedented threat faced by Israel, military victory, and relief. This initiative considered the contemporary experience of those living through the crisis – including from the perspective of British Jews.

A series of bulletins from mid-May to mid-June, were posted on Facebook and Twitter accounts which set out what was happening 50 years ago that day, in the run up to and including the Six Day War. In addition, the JLC hosted a series of blogs from various community CEOs and activists describing the impact of the Six Day War. You can read our JLC Blog Series: Six Day War: 50 Years On here, and read more details of the campaign here and read

Balfour 100

In the coming week, you will be able to upload your own events to the Balfour 100 website. Keep an eye out on our social media for the link to do this and you’ll be able to use the website to advertise and promote your own Balfour 100 celebration.

The Balfour 100 Community Fund has seen a high number of applications, which you can read about here. Applications have come in from communities all over the UK and Ireland, and the Balfour 100 steering committee is extremely pleased about the volume of plans in place around the country to mark the centenary.

We believe in Israel, together with the Zionist Federation hosted a Balfour activist conference on Sunday 25th June, attracting 250 activists who came together to learn about everything from the history of the declaration to how we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Declaration this year.

Refugee week:

To mark the start of Refugee week in June, the Chief Rabbi visited World Jewish Relief’s projects supporting refugees in Yorkshire. The programme offers one-to-one support for Syrian refugees to overcome barriers to employment and prepare them for the UK job market. 

The Chief Rabbi and Mrs Mirvis spent a day meeting refugees from Syria who have been brought to safety in the UK by the British government and are beginning new lives here. 

You can read more about the Chief Rabbi’s visit and the work World Jewish Relief do to support refugees here.

You can also read more about the Jewish community’s response to the refugee crisis and volunteering opportunities here


Peter Speirs - Scotland update: July 2017

Much has changed since the last time I wrote an e-update about Scotland. Most obviously, there has been a General Election. We have gone from 56 of Scotland’s 59 MPs being from the SNP in 2015, to 35 in 2017. The Conservatives went from 1 MP to 13, Labour from 1 to 7 MPS, and the Liberal Democrats from 1 to 4.

What these results show is that Scottish politics is in a state of flux. It was a shame to see some friends of the community lose their seats – most notably, Kirsten Oswald in East Renfrewshire. Kirsten worked hard to get to know the Jewish community in Scotland. The new MP for the area, Paul Masterton, has already shown that he is committed to working closely with the local Jewish community, and I look forward to developing that relationship in the coming months.

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Michaela Vyse: Yorkshire & East Coast - July 2017

The announcement of the general election came at the same time as starting the role in Yorkshire and the East coast. Alongside the Leeds Jewish Rep Council, we created a committee of lay leaders in which to assist with political engagement. During the election campaign period we met with 30 candidates from across 18 seats and attended 6 hustings and 1 community event in Bradford to meet with candidates.

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Russell Langer: 2017 General Election Analysis

You could be forgiven for asking what has changed following the seven week election campaign. It is certainly no footnote that the Government has lost their majority and now depends on the DUP to win vital votes but it now appears that the Prime Minister is safe for the meantime and it seems to be business as normal.

When the Prime Minister looked destined for a landslide victory there were expectations that the election would be swiftly followed by a dramatic cabinet reshuffle and drama on the Labour benches with either a change in leader or possibly a split if Jeremy Corbyn refused to go. Instead we find ourselves with a relatively unchanged cabinet and Corbyn stronger than ever.

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What does the DUP agreement with the Conservative Party mean for our community?

Who are the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and what does their entrance onto the political scene mean for our community? Watch JLC Chief Executive Simon Johnson discuss this with Board of Deputies grassroots consultant and Chairman of Northern Ireland Friends of Israel Steven Jaffe.


Dave Shaw: We have to be honest about the homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that exists in some parts of the Jewish community


Some counsel for the Council on diversity and inclusion

KeshetUK is delighted to have the opportunity to share some ideas and insights with JLC members during Pride month. Whilst this is a time of celebration and inclusion within and beyond the Jewish community, recent events remind us that there is a lot more that can be done to create safe, welcoming and inclusive communities. 

It is just over one year since 49 people were murdered at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. We’ve seen homophobic hate vandalising a Jewish community space.

KeshetUK is the charity striving to ensure that LGBT+ people and their families are present, safe and able to participate fully in Jewish life. We our work with synagogues, schools, youth movements, university campuses and other community organisations across the religious and political spectrum.

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Blog Series: Six Day War: 50 Years On

Tamir Oren, Executive Director, Stand With Us UK

Will the Last One Out, Please Turn Off the Light

Understanding the Six-Day War

"We are sitting right now on the ridge and we are seeing the Old City. Shortly we are going to go into the Old City of Jerusalem that all generations have dreamed about. We will be the first to enter the Old City... The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!”.

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