BNJC (Brighton and Hove Jewish Community) and Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation were delighted to host a contingent of guests attending the Labour Party Conference in Brighton for a tour to spotlight the importance and value of the city’s Jewish future, and its past. Guests included Jo Stevens MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Claudia Mendoza Co-Chief Executive of Jewish Leadership Council and Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies.
The contingent first visited the new Jewish community development in central Hove (BNJC), where CEO Marc Sugarman hosted a hard hat tour of the site. Still under construction and on track to open next summer, the community development aims to revitalise Jewish life in Brighton & Hove by building the infrastructure for Jewish life. Delicious Kosher dining, a beautiful new Synagogue and Mikvah, superb education, co-working facilities and a rich programme of cultural events provide every opportunity for the community to thrive.
The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester & Region (JRC) last night hosted Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy MP in conversation with JRC Chair Mark Adlestone OBE DL for our first in-person event in over 18 months.
Ms Nandy is the most senior Labour frontbencher to have publicly engaged with the Jewish community since Sir Keir Starmer became Labour Leader and the Equality & Human Rights Commission published its report which found that the previous Labour leadership had broken equality law against its Jewish members.
Lisa Nandy reiterated the Labour Party’s support for a negotiated two state solution and her opposition to the BDS movement. She also used the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing the country since UK troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan and singled out JLC member World Jewish Relief in their efforts to assist refugees through the resettlement programme.
Addressing concerns around the United Nations’ disproportionate focus on Israel, Ms Nandy for the first time suggested that Labour agrees with the government’s position of voting against all item 7 motions at the UN Human Rights Council. Item 7 is the only permanent agenda item dedicated to condemning a single country. Lisa Nandy also supported the government’s decision to not attend the 20th anniversary Durban conference this September, stating: “We shouldn’t be supporting the promotion of antisemitism.”
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy MP said:
“It was great to join the JLC and JRC at this evening’s event. I was delighted to be able to listen to members of the Jewish community tonight. Only by listening can we rebuild the trust we so desperately need to have.”
Mark Adlestone OBE DL, Chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region said:
“It was an absolute privilege to host Lisa. We asked the important questions that are of critical importance to the Jewish community in Greater Manchester and across the country. I am delighted with Lisa’s open and forthright responses to our questions. We are fortunate to have an excellent and longstanding relationship with Lisa and look forward to working closely together.”
Marc Levy, JLC North West Regional Manager & Chief Executive of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region said:
“Over the many years I have known Lisa, she has been an outspoken and strong supporter of the Jewish community. I am delighted that Lisa agreed to come and speak with us this last night.”
“Yesterday CST released a report demonstrating the unprecedented volume of antisemitic incidents during the month of May.
“The ‘Month of Hate’ report makes for a sobering read. Many faced online abuse, in person physical and verbal harassment, and assaults.
“We are grateful to the government for its robust approach against anti-Jewish racism and we will continue to work with CST and others to raise our concerns at all levels.”
- Claudia Mendoza, Co-Chief Executive
L-R: Leo Brosh, Orit Cantor and Michelle Mitchell
Following a thorough recruitment process the JLC have appointed:
Michelle Mitchell as Head of Strategic Collaboration will lead on our long term strategic work on sustainability and challenges facing our members and community.
Michelle will join the JLC from World Jewish Relief where she is currently Head of Major Giving, having been at the organisation since 2012 when she joined as a trust fundraiser. She is a proud member of the Jewish community, having grown up in a family deeply committed to communal service, an active and busy United Synagogue (Belmont) and B’nei Akiva.
Orit Cantor as Membership Manager will lead on our engagement with our members, ensuring that the JLC is responsive to changing needs.
Orit has recently held the position of Volunteers Placement Coordinator with JLC member, JVN (Jewish Volunteering Network), taking JVN’s service from ‘connecting to ‘matching’ and increasing number of placements, volunteering opportunities and relationships with charities within the community. Orit has previously worked in property management and consultancy both in the UK and overseas.
Leo Brosh as Yorkshire & East Coast Regional Manager will be serving our communities across Yorkshire and the East Coast in this regional role which the JLC has supported for over five years now.
Leo who is based in Leeds, has held positions within the Jewish Community from being on UJS National Council, Nottingham Jewish Society Committee and on FZY’s Mazkirut. Leo has represented the community at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and at European and World Jewish Congress’. He also founded a Jewish Student Society in Hong Kong which connected Jewish students studying there with the local community.
The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has today welcomed the decision by the UK government that they join the USA, Australia and Canada in not attending the Durban IV conference this September.
In December 2020, the UN General Assembly voted in favour of holding a “one-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the twentieth anniversary” of the adoption of the Durban Declaration. This is due to take place this September.
The United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, or otherwise commonly known as ‘Durban I’ met in Durban, South Africa in 2001 and adopted the Durban Declaration.
Despite being a conference against racism, the event is remembered by the international Jewish community as a hostile showcase for open antisemitism. Jewish attendees at the conference were subjected to intimidation from protesters and antisemitic material, including the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, were distributed within the conference venue. The conference itself saw the revival of the ‘Zionism equals racism’ trope. The resulting ‘Durban Declaration’ singled out only Israel for criticism.
Subsequent Durban conferences in 2009 and 2011 resulted in similar antisemitic rhetoric on display. At Durban II in 2009 the UK led a walkout of major nations in protest against a speech by then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and at Durban III in 2011 the UK boycotted the event.
JLC Co-Chief Executive Claudia Mendoza added:
“We’d like to thank the British Government for taking our concerns seriously and withdrawing from this abuse of UN processes. People need to be under no illusions, this conference exists to delegitimise Israel and legitimise anti-Jewish racism.”
Commenting on today’s announcement Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust and Vice President of the JLC, and attendee at 2001 conference said:
“This is welcome news. Tainted with Jew hatred, poisonous rhetoric about Israel and Holocaust denial and minimisation, the Durban process is no place to tackle racism. It is time for the Durban conferences to be consigned to history.
The British Government has done the right thing once again by taking a principled stance and refusing to attend.”
Jewish communities across the United Kingdom have experienced a sharp increase in antisemitic hate crime over the previous fortnight. There has always been a surge in incidents targeting the community when tensions are high in the Middle East. However, the increase in cases along with the severity and levels of vitriol is unprecedented.
Ensuring the conflict does not play out on the streets of the United Kingdom remains the primary concern of the Jewish Leadership Council and Community Security Trust. Both organisations are working with local and national government to ensure community cohesion remains intact.
We are grateful to the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward for taking the time to meet with CST Regional Director, Amanda Bomsztyk and Jewish Leadership Council Regional Manager, Marc Levy. Cllr Ward was joined by Waqar Ahmed (Assistant Director for Community Safety & Resilience) and Cllr John Cotton. The discussion focused on incidents that have taken place across Birmingham and the United Kingdom. The Council detailed their extensive work across the whole of society. Their focus has been designed to promote understanding and combat hate crime across the city.
AMANDA BOMSZTYK, NORTHERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF CST AND MARC LEVY, NORTH WEST & WEST MIDLANDS REGIONAL MANAGER OF THE JEWISH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL SAID:
“We are grateful to Cllr Ward and the team at Birmingham City Council for their time. Their proactive actions show how a local authority can tackle this nuanced issue. The scenes that have unfolded over the past fortnight have highlighted why the adoption and implementation of the IHRA definition on antisemitism is of critical importance. We are heartened and reassured by the stance that Councillors Ward and Cotton are adopting. Their dedication to protecting the Jewish community in Birmingham from potentially hostile reactions to a conflict thousands of miles away is hugely appreciated.”
COUNCILLOR IAN WARD, LEADER OF BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL SAID:
“Our city is made up of people who can trace their roots back to virtually every country in the world. Diversity is in our DNA and reflected in our values of tolerance and respect. That is why when one of our diverse communities is threatened by hate or violence, we are all threatened. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all our communities and, particularly at this difficult time our Jewish community and will continue to fight all forms of discrimination.”
COUNCILLOR JOHN COTTON, CABINET MEMBER FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION, COMMUNITY SAFETY AND EQUALITIES OF BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL SAID:
“Whilst we appreciate that emotions are running high due to world events, there is no justification for the surge in anti-Semitic hate crime that has been seen across the UK and in parts of our City. We will continue to support and engage with the Jewish Community locally and utilise upon our strong inter-faith networks, calling out hate speech when we hear it and focussing more upon what unites us than divides us.”
Together with community colleagues, we invite you to participate in sharing the message “No to rockets, Yes to peace” this Sunday 16th May, 10am to 12noon.
Israel is facing an unprecedented barrage of rockets from terrorist organisations, with over 2000 already fired. These rockets are targeting the Southern communities of Israel, as well as key population centres like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Tragically, a number of Israeli citizens have been killed in recent days. Despite Israel’s best efforts to minimise casualties among non-combatants, Palestinian civilians have also died. We mourn the loss of all innocent life and pray for the recovery of all those who have been injured.
Israel is facing a serious threat. As Israel is bombarded with missiles from Gaza and malicious lies are spread online, we invite you to send a message of solidarity to Israel and to share our collective wish for peace. We will also show our friends and neighbours across the UK that supporters of Israel want peace.
We call on our community to show their support for Israel by taking part in a Covid-safe demonstration of solidarity accessible to all. We ask you to gather outside, either in a garden or somewhere near your home, with either a group of 6 people or two households maintaining social distancing, to take a picture with the attached graphic.
We want to send a clear message:
No to rockets. Yes to peace.
We invite you to post your picture on social media with the hashtag #NoToRocketsYesToPeace
Leading communal organisations will then share the messages on social media.
For maximum impact, we are asking people to do this between 10am and 12noon this Sunday, 16 May.
Sadly, there is a direct link between conflict in the Middle East and increased cases of antisemitism in the UK. If you do experience or see antisemitism, whether in person or online, please report it to the Community Security Trust here: https://cst.org.uk/report-incident
On the 16th May 2021, JLC Trustee Mark Adlestone OBE DL will become Chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region.
The appointment comes at an important time for the community with the Jewish Strategic Group – a group of organisations from across the community who have been meeting regularly during Covid-19 – formalised in July 2020. The Jewish Strategy Group is chaired by Mark Adlestone and co-ordinated by the JLC’s North West Regional Manager, Marc Levy.
In order to solidify the accomplishments of this group and enable the Representative Council to speak with a collective and legitimate voice, the Representative Council and Jewish Leadership Council will form an alliance.
Mark Adlestone will oversee this transition with Marc Levy, with the support of the JLC’s Co-CEOs. Marc Levy will be seconded to the Representative Council as Chief Executive Officer alongside his current role, where he will be able to utilise his extensive contacts both within the community and with various external stakeholders. The dynamic leadership brought about by the changes will enable both organisations to effectively represent the entire Greater Manchester Jewish community.
Mark Adlestone OBE DL said:
“The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester & Region has a rich 102 year history. This is an exciting time for the representative structures of our community. As chair of the Jewish Strategic Group, I have seen first-hand the unique collaboration between our communal bodies and partners from wider society. This has created the perfect environment for me to assess how we recognise the potential of the Representative Council and review how it will evolve during my tenure.
“During the difficulties experienced during the pandemic, the JLC led on coordinating our internal communal response whilst magnifying our concerns directly with key decision makers across government. It launched campaigns to provide financial assistance to those charities across the region who are tasked with supporting the vulnerable and needy in our community. Recognising the integral role played by the JLC, I realise it is essential to establish an alliance between the two organisations. This will ensure the Representative Council develops into an effective and authoritative voice for the entire Jewish community.
“I am delighted that Marc Levy has agreed to be seconded to the Representative Council as Chief Executive Officer. His extensive contacts both within our community and externally with elected politicians from local and national government will be invaluable as we seek to implement our ambitious plans.”
Marc Levy, incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Representative Council for Greater Manchester said:
“I am honoured and privileged to have been appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region. Having lived in Greater Manchester my whole life, I am humbled to be able to represent the community I am proud to be a part of. I am also grateful to the Co-CEOs of the Jewish Leadership Council for allowing me this tremendous opportunity. Combining the two roles will enable me to use my contacts with local and national government to effectively advocate for our community.
“This restructuring comes at an exciting time for the representative structures of Greater Manchester following on from the ground-breaking success of the Jewish Strategic Group. I am excited to be working alongside Mark Adlestone OBE DL to implement an enterprising, dynamic and far reaching agenda designed to proactively represent our diverse community.”
Claudia Mendoza and Michelle Janes, Co-CEOs of the Jewish Leadership Council said:
“We are absolutely delighted to further support Greater Manchester through Marc taking on this role. Marc has always brought energy, passion and determination to his work and this move is a recognition of his ability and his drive. The dynamism we have seen during the pandemic has shown what is possible.”
Russell Conn, President of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region said:
“I am thrilled that Mark Adlestone will become Chair of the Representative Council following the AGM in May. It is fantastic that someone with Mark’s experience and connections will proactively be building on our illustrious 101 year history. As President, I can therefore say without hesitation that I look forward to working closely with Mark and that the Representative Council has an exciting future.
“The Representative Council has been central to the communal response to the Coronavirus pandemic. I am absolutely delighted that our whole community has come together in such an effective manner.
“Central to this has been the work of the JLC who have been instrumental in our significant achievements. As we move into a new chapter, I feel it is right and proper that an alliance between the two organisations is formally established. This is merely recognising how the community is presently operating and will bring an added impetus to our development. Our work over the last 12 months has showcased how the relationships on a local and national level held by the JLC have been utilised to discuss and resolve critically important issues. Officially linking the two organisations will provide an obvious benefit not just to the Representative Council but our whole community. We also look forward to maintaining our close relationship with the Board of Deputies.”
The Leeds Jewish Representative Council and Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) have today released their manifesto for the forthcoming inaugural election for the Mayor of West Yorkshire.
Further to the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal announced in March 2020, the region will now be electing its first Metro Mayor this May. The Mayor will chair the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which includes the local authorities of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.
This manifesto launch comes in advance of a joint JLC and Leeds Jewish Representative Council hustings taking place on 26th April at 4:30pm. Confirmed candidates include Labour’s Tracy Brabin MP and Matthew Robinson of the Conservative Party. Stewart Golton of the Liberal Democrats and Andrew Cooper of the Green Party have both also been invited. The hustings will be chaired by Simon Myerson QC of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council.
The hustings will be streamed live and will be able to be viewed on the Leeds Jewish Representative Council and JLC Facebook Pages.
Commenting in the Manifesto foreword, Lisa Baker, President of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council and JLC Yorkshire and East Coast Regional Manager Miki Vyse said:
“The issues raised within this manifesto will require partnership with politicians and community leaders for years to come. We hope this manifesto can serve as a foundation of the work to be done during the election and beyond.”
The Manifesto can be viewed by clicking here.