In March 2018, following the publication of historical allegations concerning the activities and departure in 2013 of the previous Chief Executive, Jeremy Newmark, the Trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council (‘JLC’) appointed an Independent Review Panel (‘the Panel’) to investigate the matter. The Panel comprised Dawn Freedman, a retired judge, Derek Zissman, a former Vice Chairman of the professional services group KPMG, and Michael Scott, a solicitor at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The members of the Panel subsequently appointed the independent forensic accountants Crowe UK LLP to assist with their review.
The Terms of Reference were agreed with the Charity Commission:
- To consider the decisions taken by the 2013 Trustees in relation to the allegations raised in the 2013 Internal Report and Mr Newmark’s resignation and whether all decisions were reasonable and were taken in the best interests of the JLC.
- To consider the question of the financial irregularities revealed by the 2013 Internal Report and consider if the JLC suffered a material loss in 2013.
- To undertake a review to ensure that the current internal financial processes of the JLC in 2018 are adequate and fit for purpose.
The Independent Review Panel’s report was delivered to both the Charity Commission and the Trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council on 31 January 2019.
Today, the JLC is publishing on its website the Panel’s Report together with the JLC’s response to the Panel’s recommendations; the JLC is also making available the statement received from Jeremy Newmark, the JLC’s former CEO.
Commenting, the JLC’s Chairman, Jonathan Goldstein, said:
“I would like to start by expressing our sincere gratitude to the whistle blower. Their bravery in highlighting serious concerns was a great service to the charity and the wider community.
I would also like to thank the Independent Panel for their time, expertise and care in undertaking this in-depth review to ensure that we fully understand what lessons can be learned.
The 2013 Trustees are outstanding leaders in our community, giving countless hours of their time and making significant contributions to the charity. Many of them created the JLC in order to help ensure the continuity in the UK, in this and future generations, of a vibrant and secure mainstream Jewish community. The Panel’s Report acknowledges that the 2013 Trustees always acted in what they believed were in the best interests of the charity.
The 2013 Trustees were let down by Jeremy Newmark. In him, they placed their trust in running the organisation.
Since the independent forensic accountants provided information that was not known to the 2013 Trustees, the JLC has now referred the matters raised in the Crowe Report relating to potentially questionable expenditure, to the police. The Trustees have also determined to put the JLC’s audit out to tender and is taking legal advice on other civil remedies that might be available to it.
The Panel has concluded that there were deficiencies in the charity’s processes in 2012 and 2013. We accept the findings of the Panel as well as the recommendations; all of which we are implementing in full or have already implemented.
The JLC has worked tirelessly to unite the community, to represent its concerns, and promote collaboration in order to provide solutions to the long term strategic challenges we face. Never has there been a greater need for this charity and the work it does.
We are resolutely committed to continue serving our community, and to engage with the Charity Commission so we always stand the strongest light of scrutiny.”
Report of the Independent Review Panel
- ENDS -
Notes to Editors:
• The Panel will not make any public statements or comments on the final Report or its contents.
• The Jewish Leadership Council is an umbrella body made up of 35 Jewish communal organisations. The Council is comprised of the Chairs or Presidents of those organisations, and the Council elects a Board of Trustees for a three-year term. The JLC represents only its members – the organisations that have chosen to join the council. This range of organisations includes synagogues, care organisations, education charities, regional Representative Councils and the Board of Deputies.
• Jewish Leadership Council (www.thejlc.org)
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