Council Q & A, Vivian Wineman, BoD President

1. What motivates you to be involved in communal life?

I have always been passionate about my Jewishness and interested in all aspects of Jewish life both religious and cultural. I was drawn into communal affairs because of my commitment to Judaism and social action and then joined the Board and went native. I was most impressed with the quality of the people I was meeting and with the issues involved.

2. What is the most exciting project that you are currently involved in?

It is difficult to say. There are so many things going on at the moment – The Board’s project with Community Partnership, Israel Advocacy and our dialogue with other faith groups.

3. How has the community changed in recent years from your perspective?

On the one hand it is a more vital community as a result of, for instance, the expansion of Limmud and Jewish Book Week. On the other hand the community is more polarised than ever before which makes our cross-communal nature more important.

4. What are the biggest challenges facing the community today?

The biggest issues are demography and the polarisation of the community. The mainstream of the community is declining in numbers and relations with other groups in the community need to be worked on. There is a need to adjust to the 21st century when, for most people, the Holocaust is not a matter of memory but of history. There is a need for the community to face outward in a progressive way.

5. How has the JLC added value to your work in the community?

The JLC has given us both intellectual resource and access and has through its own efforts and through joint projects helped deliver an improved performance on the part of communal institutions. This has been in both the defensive areas of the community but also in its vitality. Its facilitating of joint purchasing has been of great benefit. Its example has also been a spur to encourage other organisations to raise their game.