Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Bernice & Sylvan Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger – may their memory be a blessing and may their families be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Only two months ago Jews around the world stood shoulder to shoulder in synagogues reciting in unison the awesome words of Unetaneh Tokef – “On Rosh Hashanah it is written. On Yom Kippur it is sealed.” I could not have imagined that such a short time later we would come together to mourn the brutal murder of 11 of our brothers and sisters in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and my heart breaks for their families. To lose someone so abruptly and so ruthlessly is hard to fathom.
And yet, as ours and other communities around the world confront antisemitism, we #ShowUpForShabbat. This outstanding display of solidarity is living proof that those who want us to be afraid will not succeed. I am immensely appreciative of the synagogues, organisations and individuals who took part in the campaign and hope the Pittsburgh community can begin to heal. I hope they know that as they saw the worst of humanity, they then saw the best of it, too. As Chanukah approaches, let us be mindful that we mustn’t ever let the darkness crowd out the light.
Since our last newsletter, a lot has happened at the JLC and across our community. We recently had our annual meeting with the Prime Minister at which we discussed issues ranging from antisemitism to education to the outstanding work our member organisations do in the service of our community and country. We have a true friend in Number 10 and the Prime Minister’s commitment to our safety and success is absolute. This meeting lays the groundwork for the JLC to continue its labour of love on behalf of and with our member organisations to promote and improve Jewish life in Britain.
We recently welcomed Mitzvah Day to the JLC as our 35thmember and I am delighted that this outstanding organisation, led by Laura Marks OBE, has joined so enthusiastically and become part of our family. I look forward to Mitzvah Day on 18th November and Chanukah in the Square, which will take place on 5th December in Trafalgar Square - two events at which we all stand together and celebrate our heritage, our values and the light each and every one of us brings to the world.
In the newsletter that follows you will read more about what the JLC staff has been up to – from more about the meeting with the PM, to a Councillors seminar we ran jointly with the Board of Deputies and the London Jewish Forum, to the outstanding work our regional officers have been doing across the country, and more, the work goes on in earnest. You can also learn about additional communal activities to come including Limmud, Jewish Women’s Aid’s IDEVAW campaign, Parliament Week and World Jewish Relief’s Kindertransport Shabbat.
I hope you find it interesting and look forward to seeing you all at Chanukah in the Square when we will join together and #UniteUnderTheLight!