L: Dan Rosenfield, Sarah Anticoni, Josh Holt, Claudia Mendoza;
R: Hilda Worth, Gerald Ronson CBE, Jonathan Goldstein, Jonathan Arkush, Debbie Fox
A delegation of Jewish community leaders met today with Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss a wide range of policy issues affecting the community. The agenda, formulated by the Jewish Leadership Council in coordination with its member organisations, reflects our community’s concerns, both on the domestic front and internationally.
The meeting with the Prime Minister allowed the delegation to raise concerns, share ideas and best practices and highlight the community’s contribution to British society in areas such as social care, mental health education, security, and the UK’s relationship with Israel.
The following were among the issues discussed with the Prime Minister:
- The rise in antisemitic incidents - 2016 saw the highest number antisemitic incidents ever recorded across Britain;
- The need for greater capacity in Jewish secondary schools, ideas for expansion and an expected new free school application;
- The future of adult social care and independent social care operators across the community, with a particular focus on the government’s forthcoming Green Paper;
- Cuts to statutory funding of community-based mental health services, their affect, and new ways of tackling this issue;
- The scope and impact of the community’s Safer Dating programme for 16-25 year-old women;
- Communal efforts to support refugees, which have raised over £1m to date, as well as collaborative inter-faith, grass-roots programmes to re-house refugees;
The delegation thanked the Prime Minister for speaking out against antisemitism and for her unwavering support for, and defence of, the State of Israel, particularly in the lead up to the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration later this year. Leaders also welcomed the new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, as well as the announcement of an additional £2 billion of funding for social care.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“I was pleased to meet community leaders today to hear directly about the issues that are most important to Jewish people in the United Kingdom.
“I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm my long-standing and total commitment to the security of the Jewish community and I will do everything possible to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred and prejudice in our country.
“Today’s meeting was also an opportunity for me, as Prime Minister, to celebrate the incredible contribution that the Jewish community makes to our country.”
Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council said:
“It was an honour and a privilege to lead the communal delegation as JLC Chair to meet with the Prime Minister and discuss a range of issues affecting Anglo Jewry. Mrs May reiterated her strong support for our community and is committed to working together to address our concerns.
“The JLC’s annual meeting with the Prime Minister is unique in our communal calendar. It facilitates direct engagement with the heart of government and gives voice to the entire community on matters of national importance.
“As JLC Chair, I am committed to deepening the partnership with the Prime Minister and to working with the government and across our membership to tackle the challenges we face and make a profound difference in the life of every British Jew.”
Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush said:
“I conveyed to the Prime Minister the Jewish community’s concerns on extremism and community cohesion. I also asked that the Prime Minister that, in this year of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, she use her influence to ensure that the already close ties between the UK and Israel become even stronger.”
Notes to Editors
The Prime Minister meeting was arranged and coordinated by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and was supported professionally by Claudia Mendoza, the JLC’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs.
Members of the delegation were:
- Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the JLC (Delegation Chair)
- Sarah Anticoni, Chair of PaJeS
- Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies
- Debbie Fox, Vice Chair of Jewish Care
- Josh Holt, President of the Union of Jewish Students
- Gerald Ronson CBE, Chairman, Community Security Trust (CST)
- Dan Rosenfield, Chair of World Jewish Relief
- Hilda Worth, Co-chair of Jewish Women’s Aid