The end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 have shown the importance of the political links that the Jewish community has established with Government and the constructive way in which this Government has shown itself to be willing to engage with the Jewish community.
In early December, the JLC arranged for representatives of four community social care organisations to have a round table discussion with health and social care officials from No.10 Downing Street and the Department for Health. This was a result of a recommendation from the community leaders meeting with the Prime Minister held early in 2013. The leading professionals from Jewish Care, Norwood, Nightingale Hammerson and The Fed engaged in a detailed, focused and informative discussion with the officials about key policy matters which affect them. It was important for the Government to know that our issues are shared with, and common to, other social care providers across the UK. In that respect, we hope we have contributed to Government thinking.
This month, representatives of the JLC, the Board of Deputies and the CST met Baroness Warsi at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a ministerial session of the Cross Government Working Group on Antisemitism. Baroness Warsi was very engaged in the issues that the community faces and the discussion was further evidence of the concern that the Government has for ensuring that all communities can live in the UK in an environment of security and tolerance.
The JLC coordinated and led the community’s annual meeting with the Prime Minister. A wide range of issues of interest to the community were discussed. It was a well-planned and engaging meeting which gave us a chance to engage directly with the Prime Minister. We have the chance to do the same at a forthcoming meeting with the Leader of the Opposition.
I am also very proud of my colleagues at Lead for their launch of the GAMECHANGERS programme. I met the 16 leaders who have been selected to participate in the programme. We have set them a huge challenge - to be the next leaders of the community and I look forward to meeting them further and seeing how they progress. 2014 promises to be an eventful and important year.