UJIA is the main UK Jewish organisation supporting informal education for our community’s young people and summer is their busiest time. Between 12 June and 26 August, UJIA supported 52 Israel programmes and UK summer camps, involving nearly 3,700 Jewish youth. This includes 27 Israel tours, 10 UJIA Birthright groups and 13 youth movement summer camps.
Whether in Israel or the UK, UJIA is enabling Jewish 8-26 year-olds to come together, not just for an afternoon, but for days and weeks, outside the home, outside the classroom. The value of coming together with their peers in a Jewish context is completely invaluable to building a strong Jewish identity and future communal participation.
The programmes taking place in Israel, which over 1,000 young people are enjoying today, are helping to make our homeland relevant to an age group that will soon be selecting universities or colleges, maybe becoming Jewish leaders where they study, and considering what they want to do in the future. A close relationship with the people of Israel is central to all of this and we are proud to support the 10 youth movements in delivering that powerful educational experience.
The 20th Maccabiah Games are the pinnacle of Jewish sporting achievement. Our Great Britain team of close to 400 people can proudly say that together we have represented our country and our community
There were many firsts for the Great Britain Delegation at these Maccabiah Games.
This was the first time the competition venues were spread from Jerusalem to Haifa. It allowed our athletes to experience far more of Israel which in turn only added to their connection to the country.
It was the first time our Jewish Identity Pre Camp Programme was based in the North of Israel. This allowed our delegation to visit the inspirational Beit Halochem rehabilitation Centre for IDF soldiers and experience Paralympic sports with the residents. To visit the Ghetto Fighters Museum to learn of the resistance movement against the Holocaust. And it gave us the wonderful opportunity to visit a number of projects funded by our partners UJIA. From the Equaliser Programme in Acco to Magic Moments in Shlomi, this was a truly special meeting of young Brits and Israelis.
PaJeS together with Place2Be, the mental health and wellbeing charity will be beginning their Mental Health and Wellbeing Programme for Jewish Schools this coming school year.
Research conducted by PaJeS into the current provision offered across Jewish schools, unearthed a considerable need for effective and professional training in order to manage and treat matters of student mental health and wellbeing across the Jewish schools community, funding was awarded from the Wolfson Jewish Education Fund and the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust.
This will be my final update for the JLC, as I am off to pastures new. As such, I would like to update you on my two key work streams. Firstly, on political outreach I have continued to build and deepen relationships between the community and political figures. I recently attended a meeting with the Home Secretary, the MP for East Renfrewshire Paul Masterton, and a group of religious leaders from across the West of Scotland. In my time at the JLC I have met with and built connections with dozens of politicians and civic figures from all levels of government. The relationships that I have initiated will be sustained and built upon by the community in the future. An example of the usefulness of such relationships between the community and political figures is the Shalom Festival. The organisers and I lobbied a variety of senior politicians to ensure their support for the Shalom Festival, an event that was a huge success and attracted national and international media attention. This support is invaluable to giving credibility to the event, which I know will go from strength to strength.
Secondly, we are continuing to advance in community co-ordination. There has been tremendous progress on events to mark the Balfour Declaration in Scotland. In my capacity as chair of the Balfour Sub-Committee I, along with others, have been able to advance to late stages the commemoration plans. The Cross-Party Group on Building Bridges with Israel will host a marquee meeting, and the live-stream of Simon Schama’s London lecture on Balfour has been planned. I am now working to secure broad and senior political support and endorsements for the Scottish events.
As we approach the Yomim Noraim, the Days of Awe which mark the spiritual culmination of the year, our thoughts turn to our families, and our loved ones and the challenges we all face.
Social care has been a big area of discussion and a major feature of our work over the summer.
There has been a particular debate about the extent to which the community is already and should further be enhancing the state’s provision in the field of youth mental health. One of the reoccurring messages that my Chairman, Jonathan Goldstein and I had picked up over the summer months, was from senior members of the community who are concerned about the service provision to deal with youth mental health issues. There have been in recent years a number of tragic cases of young people taking their own lives, which has given greater visibility and enhanced urgency to the subject.
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.
Lead, the leadership development division of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has announced the appointment of two new professional staff members to boost the Adam Science Leadership programme, work closely with alumni and support the wider community’s lay and professional leadership.
Miriam Lorie has joined as Lead’s Director of Programmes and Alumni Engagement, and Michelle Janes will take on the role of Director of Programmes and Consultancy, both part-time positions.
Miriam and Michelle will be responsible for running the Adam Science Foundations Course and Leadership Programme together, as well as playing a key role in widening the range of Lead’s offering.
In addition to this, Miriam, who was formerly Public Education Manager of the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, as well as being an Adam Science alumna (2014) and co-founder of Kehillat Nashira (the UK’s first regularly meeting Partnership Minyan), will be responsible for developing and running alumni engagement strategies.
Michelle has been working as Operations Director for Masorti Judaism for five years, managing programming, events and volunteer development. Having recently completed an MBA with a focus on senior lay-professional relationships within the UK Jewish community, Michelle will be responsible for providing consultancy in leadership development to communal organisations.
Nicky Goldman, Director of Lead, said:
"We are delighted that Miriam and Michelle are joining the Lead team. We firmly believe that our Programmes are vital in nurturing leaders in our community.
This is something Michelle and Miriam are also very passionate about. Both have many years’ experience working with the Jewish community, and we are looking forward to them bringing their talent and expertise to help develop the leadership programmes and resources that we can offer the community.”
As part of a Revelation TV investigation into antisemitism in the UK, JLC Chief Executive Simon Johnson contributed to the programme.
See the interview and full episode below.
Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said:
“The Editor of The Sunday Times, Martin Ivens, phoned me last night to apologise for the antisemitic article published in this weekend’s Sunday Times (Irish Edition).
“We will meet in September and Mr Ivens has agreed then to discuss how this article managed to get through the editorial process.
“I am grateful for the swift initial steps taken by Mr Ivens. However, given the record-breaking rise in antisemitic incidents reported by CST and antisemitism’s unfortunate prominence in our national discourse over recent months, it is the editorial process that remains a concern.
“I look forward to meeting Mr Ivens to discuss how such incidents can be avoided in the future.”
"I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to Chief Rabbi Mirvis for his leadership and for the thoughtful way in which he and the Review Committee have resolved what has clearly been a complex and sensitive matter.
The studious deliberations of and constructive approach adopted by the Chief Rabbi and his fellow Review Committee members have led to an outcome that allows us to move forward together as a united community.
“Rabbi Dweck is a passionate spiritual leader who has been very successful at sharing his enthusiasm and connecting with congregants from all walks of life. I am happy he will be able to continue this important work for the benefit of the entire British Jewish community."