News

Chair’s Message: April 2015

We have just completed the Festival of Pesach and the celebration not only of the concept of freedom but mark the start of the journey to Jewish Nationhood. Having recently attended and participated in the We Believe In Israel Conference, It was impressive to see the level of commitment to Israel evident in the room. The unity of purpose and the cross communal harmony in support of a just cause gives me hope and encouragement that we are entering a new and productive era of Israel Advocacy. The results of the recent Israeli election were announced just before the conference started and whilst I recognise that those results are viewed differently across our community, the We Believe brand allowed both the left and right to join hands and promote the same core beliefs:

  • WE BELIEVE that the Jewish people have a right to a homeland
  • WE BELIEVE that this homeland is the State of Israel, the historic land of the Jewish people
  • WE BELIEVE in peace
  • WE BELIEVE that peace will come with security and prosperity for all of Israel’s citizens – Jew, Arab, Druze, Christian
  • WE BELIEVE that the Palestinian people also have an equal right to self determination in a land they can call their own
  • WE BELIEVE that we must stand up and fight any attempt to deligitimise Israel and that is what we will do
  • WE BELIEVE IN ISRAEL – a Jewish State, a Democratic State – the Nation State of Jewish people!
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A Glimpse Into The Life of... David Brown, Executive Director, UJS

Sometimes I think I might have the best job in the world – or at least in the UK Jewish Community. Every day I come to work with a team of committed recent graduates, working with 350 student volunteers, leading a union representing over 8,500 Jewish students, committed to diverse and dynamic Jewish life.

To give you a sense of life working to support student leaders across the UK, I’ll share some highlights from recent weeks.

In February we hosted our fun and pun-tastic national Jewish student competitions, Jewniversity Challenge and Juefa Cup. 250 students from 24 campuses came together to pit their physical or intellectual prowess against each other. The London heat of Jewniversity Challenge was also notable for featuring a team from Courtauld, one of our newest J-Socs, as well as a team representing the London Egalitarian Student Minyan, another recently established Jewish student initiative in London.

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Remember Together We Are One - Yom HaShoah UK

In 2015, the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Bergen Belsen by British forces falls on Erev Yom HaShoah.

To mark this unique and poignant anniversary,  a special large scale National UK Yom HaShoah Commemoration will be held at Barnet Copthall Stadium in London on Sunday April 19th  2pm.  This date coincides with the English date of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  It is intended to be the largest gathering of UK Jewry in recent history to remember the Holocaust.  Over 120 communal organisations have committed to support the Commemoration name, with the title 'Remember Together ‎- We Are One' .

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Groundbreaking Meeting Held Between Jewish Community and Universities UK

Senior leaders of the Jewish Community and a senior delegation of Vice Chancellors representing Universities UK met on 11 February 2015 to discuss areas of concern within the Jewish Community about antisemitism in Britain’s universities. It was the first meeting in what is intended to be a continuing dialogue. Both sides shared a strong belief that universities needed to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all their students, and ensure that freedom of expression within the law was genuinely upheld. Discussions focused particularly on debates inside universities about Israel, events involving external speakers and incidents where Jewish students were prevented from or intimidated in expressing their views. It was agreed that there would be joint work and further meetings.

For further information, please contact Simon Johnson, Chief Executive, on 0207 042 8681 and by email on [email protected]

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Exec Summary: February 2015

Our Jewish community has engaged in a debate which has played out in the mainstream media and social media since the dreadful terrorist attacks in Paris, including the murder of innocent Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket.

We should be under no doubt that one of the aims of terrorists is to strike terror and fear into the general population. And understandably, the terrorist attacks in Paris and more recently, Copenhagen have created concern and anxiety amongst the Jewish community in the UK.

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A Glimpse Into The Life Of.... Paul Anticoni

Although this is my ninth year leading this astonishing organisation, I am constantly amazed by our remarkable ability to convert a pound coin in a tin here in the UK to a food card in Ukraine. Slowly but surely, we are lessening vulnerability across the Former Soviet Union. Lives are being transformed. Change is happening.

We cannot afford to be complacent. Events in eastern and southern Ukraine have changed everything. Fighting has forced more than a million people from their homes. Thousands of Jews need our help. My biggest worry is what they are going through and I’m constantly asking if we’re doing enough.

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Launch Of The Yesh Va’Yesh Wohl Hebrew Programme For Jewish Secondary Schools

On Thursday 5th February 2015, PaJeS hosted the launch of an exciting new Ivrit programme for secondary schools. The Yesh Va’Yesh Wohl Hebrew Programme, developed by PaJeS and Matach/CET (Center for Educational Technology) in Israel, is being used in 13 Jewish secondary schools across the UK. The first textbook for Year 7 was available to view at the event. Once completed the curriculum will also cover years 8 and 9 and reach over 4,000 students per year.

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Jewish Community Trustees Event - 2nd March 2015

On Monday March 2nd 2015 at JW3 (Finchley Road, NW3) from 6.30 – 9.30pm Lead’s Jewish Community Trustees Event, run in partnership with the Jewish Volunteering Network, will be taking place. This is the third annual event of its kind and will be attended by the Chairs, Trustees and Chief Executives of Jewish communal organisations and foundations, who will hear from a leading speaker, attend workshops and network to discuss common issues.

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Chair's Message: February 2015

2015 has had a challenging start for the Jewish Community, not only in Britain, but across Europe. The murders in France, especially in the Kosher supermarket, and Copenhagen will be forever a tragic reminder not just of the risks of unchecked anti-Semitism, but of the threat of Islamic extremism which affects us all. As I mentioned in my op-ed in the Telegraph, ‘When Jews are murdered simply for being Jews, as in Argentina in 1994, Mumbai in 2008, a Jerusalem synagogue last November and now Paris, Jewish communities everywhere feel shockwaves.’ In 2015, no community, of any religion or faith, should ever feel at risk because of their faith or beliefs. It is therefore sobering and concerning to note the latest figures highlighted in the recently published CST report which showed that antisemitic incidents in 2014 were at an all-time UK high.

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We Believe in Israel Conference – 22 March 2015 – Registration Open Now!

On Sunday 22 March 2015, We Believe in Israel will be holding the second We Believe in Israel Conference, an ever bigger event with the same high calibre of speakers and materials as our launch conference in 2011. You can register here: http://www.webelieveinisrael.org.uk/conferences/we-believe-conference-2015/

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