The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) was honoured to have been asked to contribute key sessions to the Chief Rabbis’s Regional President’s Conference held at the Yeshurun Synagogue in Manchester on 7th June 2015.
JLC Chief Executive, Simon Johnson, talked about how a Shul could contribute to communal vitality, drawing on early conclusions from the JLC’s Synagogue Vitality Project. JLC Trustee and President of the United Synagogue, Stephen Pack, gave a presentation on the US Strategic Review and what lessons could be derived by Regional shuls. United Synagogue Director of Young People and Young Families, David Collins, then explained about the many different services offered by TRIBE to young people within regional communities.
The JLC is committed to protecting the interests of British Jews today and promoting the vibrancy of the British Jewish Community in the future. Addressing Shul Chairs and communal leaders from Regional communities provided an excellent opportunity to share the JLC’s work promoting Jewish identity and vibrancy. Mr Johnson, a former Chair of Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue, also provided examples of initiatives which that Shul had taken to promote vitality amongst the local community.
Mr Johnson also participated in a Panel discussion at the end of the Conference with Rabbi Daniel Rowe, Educational Director of AISH UK, Rev Malcolm Weisman and Rachel Shababo, Director of the Centre for Rabbinical Excellence. Questions from the gathering of Shul Presidents from all over the country ranged from support to shuls in finding educational speakers, shul security, support for students experiencing BDS on campus, resources available for communicating with outlying communities and support available for engaging with young people in regional communities.
The JLC’s Synagogue Vitality Project, being conducted by Prof Steven Cohen is due to present its report in Autumn 2015.