The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and Jewish Representative Council for Greater Manchester have today released their manifesto for the forthcoming election for the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
This comes in advance of a joint JLC-The Fed-Jewish-Representative Council of Greater Manchester hustings taking place this evening at 7pm and streamed live over social media. The hustings will see incumbent Andy Burnham of the Labour Party go head to head against the Conservative candidate Laura Evans, Liberal Democrat Simon Lepori and Green Party candidate Melanie Horrocks. It will be chaired by Mark Adlestone OBE DL who leads the Jewish Strategic Group for the city.
Commenting in the Manifesto foreword, Mark Adlestone OBE DL, Rep Council Chair Russell Conn and JLC North West Regional Manager Marc Levy said:
“The current climate makes strong relationships between the community and elected politicians crucial. It is hoped that the key tasks highlighted in this manifesto will become the foundation of the work to be undertaken following this election. Furthermore, we commit to working alongside all communities to deliver a safe, cohesive, inclusive and shared Greater Manchester that everyone can enjoy.”
To read the manifesto click here.
- The joint hustings taking place this evening will be streamed from the JLC Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/JewishLeadershipCouncil - alternatively it can be accessed via Zoom using ID: 838 9408 7173, Passcode: 454761
- The JLC will also be partnering for hustings for the Mayoral elections in Liverpool (12 April), the West Midlands (13 April) and Greater London (19 April).
- In addition hustings will be held for the London Assembly constituencies of Ealing & Hillingdon (20 April), Barnet & Camden (26 April) and Harrow & Brent (29 April)
- Hustings will also be held for two wards for Hertfordshire County Council elections; Borehamwood ward (28 April) and Bushey North ward (29 April)
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab today met representatives from the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council to discuss subjects including the Uyghur crisis in China, the upcoming Human Rights Council and Government support for an international fund for Middle East peace.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl and Jewish Leadership Council Chair Jonathan Goldstein said: “We would like to thank the Foreign Secretary for meeting with us and discussing these important matters for our community.”
Attending the meeting were Marie van der Zyl, Jewish Leadership Council Chair Jonathan Goldstein, Jewish Leadership Council Co-Chief Executive Claudia Mendoza and Board of Deputies Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg.
The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) today announces that its interim Co CEOs, Claudia Mendoza and Michelle Janes, have accepted their roles on a permanent basis.
The pair were appointed on an interim basis in June 2020 following the departure of former JLC CEO Simon Johnson, whilst continuing their existing positions of Director of Policy and Public Affairs and Executive Director of Lead. Following a thorough internal process, JLC trustees agreed that Claudia and Michelle had both impressed and excelled in their roles and were the right candidates for the challenges ahead.
This is the first time that a major Jewish communal organisation in the UK has appointed Co CEOs. This model of leadership has been welcomed by the JLC membership and praised by community leaders for demonstrating flexible, diverse, and innovative approaches to communal leadership.
The Premier League has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, as part of its ongoing commitment to promote equality and diversity, and to combat discrimination of any form in football.
The Premier League is the latest organisation to recognise the working definition, which has been formally adopted by the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the United States, the European Parliament and more than 30 other countries.
The Jewish Leadership Council has recently approved and filed its 2019 accounts.
Responding to the unprecedented events during the Covid-19 pandemic the JLC has:
- Raised over £2m for 235 families facing financial hardship and 28 organisations protecting and providing for over 15,000 vulnerable people.
- Delivered workshops and training sessions through our Leadership development division Lead for over 200 community leaders, including their first ever community professionals conference.
- Provided coordination and capacity to local efforts through its Regional Directors e.g. External Affairs Manager in Manchester co-chairing meetings bringing together 28 organisations for unprecedented cross-communal cooperation. MPs, Metro Mayors, and senior Councillors joined meetings to hear directly from the community.
Highlights from 2019 shared in our accounts include:
- Polling, media, and public affairs work responding to the unprecedented political situation ensuring concerns of our community understood widely throughout society.
- Work to address strategic communal challenges through increased collaboration, including the Elderly Care Conference with 35 representatives from 20 Jewish care providers and support to the National Association of Jewish Care Homes.
- Lead having record attendance at the Jewish Community Trustees Conference in June and providing comprehensive skills and knowledge development with over 60 emerging and senior communal leaders across the Adam Science, Dangoor Senior Leadership and newly launched Leading Jewishly programmes.
- PaJeS welcomed 200 guests to the Jewish Schools Awards; established a Senior Leadership Fellowship programme; and developed and released advice to assist schools’ compliance with new Sex and Relationships Education guidance.
- Reshet created the community’s first Safeguarding Hub and engaged 300+ professionals and trustees with Safeguarding in 2019, work commended by the Charity Commission and NSPCC. The ‘Beyond Ben-Gurion, Bamba and Bibi’ conference explored complex Israel Education with 200+ informal Jewish educators.
The JLC ended 2019 with a small deficit which was predominantly due to significant, unbudgeted and unforeseen additional unrestricted expenditure, as the final stages of the Independent Review in to Historical Allegations for the Charity Commission were reached. These included substantial legal and professional fees and an associated Governance Review.
After consultation with local Jewish groups and the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) adopted the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism at its Board Meeting on 24th July.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Reshet, a partnership between UJIA and the JLC supporting the Jewish informal education and youth sector, has increased its hands-on and strategic support for the community. The organisation has responded to the changing ways in which our community is providing provision to young people.
Reshet has led and facilitated training sessions on a wide range of pertinent issues including wellbeing, grief and change during the pandemic and decision making at a time of Covid-19, as well as running a number of online educational forums for those in the sector.
The way in which we engage with young people has dramatically changed since the Government announced the nationwide lockdown and since its relaxation. Much engagement initially moved online and therefore the emphasis on how we keep our young people safe has also had to change. In response, Reshet has produced updated guidance for safeguarding young people in Jewish communal settings.
The organisation has also pooled the virtual activities and events that our communal youth organisations have been providing during the crisis through its Busy b’Bayit portal on the Reshet website.
In addition to this work, Reshet has been supporting the sector in preparations for a very different kind of Summer Jewish experience, with all overnight camps and tours cancelled, and day camps and online activities being the only possible mode of informal education delivery.
Plans are already in place to continue to provide the flagship, CPD accredited Professional Development Programme for Jewish professionals working directly or indirectly with Jewish young people 2020/21 and applications for this are open until 4th September. https://reshetnet.com/eventscalendar/reshet-professional-development-programme/
Reshet will be holding its Annual Gathering on 7th September. At every Annual Gathering, we explore different educational themes as well as having a meaningful opportunity to network with colleagues old and new, enjoying an evening together which is both valuable and supportive.
In 2020, our theme is ‘Bouncing Back’, hosted online and participants will receive a ‘Bounce Back Pack’ in advance of the event. https://reshetnet.com/eventscalendar/reshet-annual-gathering-2020/
Shelley Marsh, Executive Director of Reshet said:
“The way we engage our young people has dramatically changed as a result of Covid-19. The Jewish community has been nimble in its work and I am proud of the work Reshet has delivered, guiding and supporting the sector during this challenging time. It is essential that as we learn from and with each other, continuing to support informal Jewish educators in bringing the best of themselves to the young people they serve.
Through the Emergency Community Fund and Social Care Assistance Fund, the JLC have raised over £2m for 235 families facing financial hardship and 28 organisations protecting and providing for over 15,000 vulnerable people.
We also provided modest support and broader backing to the Jewish Homes Emergency Appeal, which raised almost £4m for fourteen charities running 20+ residential care homes for older people across the UK. 15 charities’ direct appeals raised over £2.3m during the last three months. Many more charities have benefitted from generous giving during these difficult and distressing times.
At least £8.3m and probably over £10m has been raised from our community during the pandemic. Jewish charities have also been grateful recipients of support from the National Lottery, London Funders, Manchester Together and other national and local crisis funding providers.
The coming together of 10 foundations, 36 philanthropists, and dozens of community members to fund our two emergency projects was unprecedent in scale and speed. The sense of collective responsibility and collaborative leadership has been demonstrated beyond the heart-warming way so many have provided additional and urgent support.
Charities have paused fundraising appeals to allow frontline care providers to be the focus for our community’s tzedakah. Regular sharing of information and resources has been a feature of a cooperative spirit, including charities donating PPE to other organisations or transferring staff to expand meal provision to those ill or isolating.
The Jewish Leadership Council has announced the first twenty recipient organisations of its Social Care Assistance Fund. The fund aims to provide urgently needed additional funds for charities protecting and providing for over 15,000 people: including people with disabilities; victims of abuse; cancer patients; vulnerable children; and adults experiencing mental health problems.
People relying on these services include women and children moved to emergency accommodation; young adults with substantial additional needs unable to see visitors in residential care homes; and those who have attempted to take their own lives.
Charities are facing increased costs for extra expert care, measures to enable safe continuation of counselling, physical therapy and face-to-face contact with those most at risk, and more one-to-one support for those that would usually access group activities.
Many are providing additional practical assistance including safe transport for immune compromised children to hospital, kosher food to thousands of ill or isolated people and technology to ensure access to online support and programming.
Our fund seeks to address the immediate and additional increased costs of providing care during the pandemic and these challenges are quite stark.
From social care community charities surveyed by the JLC it is predicated that there will be:
- At least £2.6m in increased costs due to Covid-19
- A minimum lost income (through routine fundraising) of almost £6.5m
To date from those charities surveyed savings of almost £3.5m have been secured whilst reserves amounting to over £1.3m have been allocated to continue providing essential services.
The JLC has secured just under £1.5m and is seeking close to or over £2m in total for the Social Care Assistance Fund to ensure as many charities as possible are able to avoid facing this challenge alone. We are encouraging all members of the community to give at www.thejlc.org/scaf
The first twenty recipient organisations of the fund have now been announced. In the Orthodox community, grants were awarded to:
- Bayis Sheli, a sanctuary, a ray of hope, a home away from home for children with special needs.
- Beenstock Home, a residential care home, based in Salford, run by Agudas Israel Housing Association
- Chabad Lubavitch (Manchester) & Kids Trust for their work providing mental health and wellbeing support for young people
- Ezra Umarpeh provide patient support services for those challenged by illness and disability, whether at home or in hospital.
- Noa Girls provides practical, emotional and therapeutic support for adolescent girls in the Orthodox Jewish Community.
- Step by Step, based in Stamford Hill, is London's charity for Jewish children with disabilities.
Other recipients of the first tranche of grants included:
Jewish Women’s Aid
Leeds Jewish Welfare Board
Chai Cancer Care
Merseyside Jewish Community Care
Neshomo & Jewish Action for Mental Health
The Friendship Circle, Manchester
Jewish Care Scotland
The Zone (Leeds)
Speaking on behalf of the Jewish delegation, Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, Gerald Ronson CBE, Chair of the Community Security Trust and Mike Katz, Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said:
"We were grateful to Keir Starmer for making the time for today's meeting.
"We began the meeting with a discussion of the current Coronavirus crisis and an expression of our solidarity with black people in the face of the reminders of their experience of racism on both sides of the Atlantic.
"We then moved on to consider the progress that had been made on tackling antisemitism since Sir Keir's election as leader and our first meeting with him a few days after that.
"There was broad agreement that things are moving in the right direction, albeit with a long way still to go due to the scale of the mess that Sir Keir inherited. We urged Sir Keir to:
- Take a tough line with MPs, senior Labour figures and other members who still trade in the tropes and behaviours of the last few years;
- Continue to make strenuous efforts to detoxify the culture of the Party in relation to the Jewish community, including the accusation that antisemitism was falsely used by Jews to smear the former leadership;
- Publish the documents relevant to EHRC inquiry at the earliest opportunity that he is able after it is released; and
- Proceed with all due haste to the implementation of his pledge to implement an independent disciplinary process, beyond the reach of factional considerations.
"Overall, we give credit where credit is due and thank Sir Keir for the progress made so far, and hope to be able to reflect on further advances in the fight against antisemitism in the Labour Party at our next meeting in October."