2011 ended on a real high with our 'Chanukah in the Square' event becoming the largest ever public celebration of Chanukah in the UK. The crowd of 4,000 was an incredible spectacle. It was particularly inspiring to see the community gather in Trafalgar Square to celebrate Jewish life rather than for the solidarity rallies and vigils that have become synonymous with that location.
After Chanukah with the Mayor our focus turned to Limmud. We were involved in nine different sessions spanning all areas of our work, from Community Vitality, Jewish Schooling, Women in Leadership, countering the assault upon Israel's legitimacy and Government Policy as it impacts British Jewry. Limmud showcases our community at its best, and enables JLC to reach out beyond our core audience.
As Vivian Wineman highlights, the meeting we arranged for communal leaders with the Prime Minister provided a crucial platform to set out key concerns of our member organisations. Less public attention is given to the process of preparation for such a meeting - but that process is key. Within Government in the days before the meeting, a call will go out to all Departments to provide Downing Street with a report on their interaction with our community and its institutions - this helps to keep our concerns on the radar with key officials. Similarly, the development of the JLC's own policy function enables us to consult effectively with our member organisations, and to formulate credible positions on the key issues and ensure that all attendees are comprehensively briefed. I could not help but reflect on the effectiveness of our delegation and the way they portrayed a cohesive community and articulated from this strength so effectively the positions, needs and contribution of the UK Jewish Community.