In March 2018, following the publication of historical allegations concerning the activities and departure in 2013 of the previous Chief Executive, Jeremy Newmark, the Trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council (‘JLC’) appointed an Independent Review Panel (‘the Panel’) to investigate the matter. The Panel comprised Dawn Freedman, a retired judge, Derek Zissman, a former Vice Chairman of the professional services group KPMG, and Michael Scott, a solicitor at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The members of the Panel subsequently appointed the independent forensic accountants Crowe UK LLP to assist with their review.
The Terms of Reference were agreed with the Charity Commission:
- To consider the decisions taken by the 2013 Trustees in relation to the allegations raised in the 2013 Internal Report and Mr Newmark’s resignation and whether all decisions were reasonable and were taken in the best interests of the JLC.
- To consider the question of the financial irregularities revealed by the 2013 Internal Report and consider if the JLC suffered a material loss in 2013.
- To undertake a review to ensure that the current internal financial processes of the JLC in 2018 are adequate and fit for purpose.
The Independent Review Panel’s report was delivered to both the Charity Commission and the Trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council on 31 January 2019.
Today, the JLC is publishing on its website the Panel’s Report together with the JLC’s response to the Panel’s recommendations; the JLC is also making available the statement received from Jeremy Newmark, the JLC’s former CEO.
Commenting, the JLC’s Chairman, Jonathan Goldstein, said:
“I would like to start by expressing our sincere gratitude to the whistle blower. Their bravery in highlighting serious concerns was a great service to the charity and the wider community.
I would also like to thank the Independent Panel for their time, expertise and care in undertaking this in-depth review to ensure that we fully understand what lessons can be learned.
The 2013 Trustees are outstanding leaders in our community, giving countless hours of their time and making significant contributions to the charity. Many of them created the JLC in order to help ensure the continuity in the UK, in this and future generations, of a vibrant and secure mainstream Jewish community. The Panel’s Report acknowledges that the 2013 Trustees always acted in what they believed were in the best interests of the charity.
The 2013 Trustees were let down by Jeremy Newmark. In him, they placed their trust in running the organisation.
Since the independent forensic accountants provided information that was not known to the 2013 Trustees, the JLC has now referred the matters raised in the Crowe Report relating to potentially questionable expenditure, to the police. The Trustees have also determined to put the JLC’s audit out to tender and is taking legal advice on other civil remedies that might be available to it.
The Panel has concluded that there were deficiencies in the charity’s processes in 2012 and 2013. We accept the findings of the Panel as well as the recommendations; all of which we are implementing in full or have already implemented.
The JLC has worked tirelessly to unite the community, to represent its concerns, and promote collaboration in order to provide solutions to the long term strategic challenges we face. Never has there been a greater need for this charity and the work it does.
We are resolutely committed to continue serving our community, and to engage with the Charity Commission so we always stand the strongest light of scrutiny.”
Report of the Independent Review Panel
To read the full Report of the Independent Review Panel please click here (pdf).
To read the JLC Response to the Panel's Recommendations - please click here (pdf).
To read a statement from Jeremy Newmark, former CEO of the JLC, please click here (pdf).
JLC Chair, Jonathan Goldstein, has written to Chris Williamson MP regarding his signing of the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment.
You can read the full letter here.
On 22nd January 2019, 35 representatives from 20 Jewish residential care home providers came together at the NEC in Birmingham to discuss the future of Jewish residential elderly care in the UK.
The conference was organised by the JLC Elderly Care Commission, which was established in 2017.
Following sad news of Brian Kerner’s passing last night, JLC Chair, Jonathan Goldstein pays tribute:
Brian was driven by a love and commitment to British Jews and Israel, but also a passion for getting things done efficiently. He would always dryly observe that there were thousands of Jewish organisations in Britain, all replicating each other's work. Brian's lifelong push for cooperation and collaboration led him to have a hand in the creation of many of the institutions of UK Jewish life.
As chair of the United Israel Appeal, Brian led the merger with Jewish Continuity that created the UJIA. At the start of the second Intifada, he brought together different Jewish and pro-Israel organisations in a Cross-Community Coordination Group (CCG) to plan for the crisis, and ended establishing and helping to lead BICOM. As chair of the CCG, Brian was also involved in setting up the JLC itself.
Brian was one of the first Jewish leaders to recognise the threat of the anti-Israel boycott movement. He founded the Fair Play Campaign, the Jewish world's first standing anti-boycott umbrella group, and acted as its Co Chairman.
Anyone who worked with Brian will also remember his sharp wit, his occasionally-risqué sense of humour and his love of Arsenal football club. Brian was a dedicated fundraiser who was always willing to lend support of his time, his resources, his connections and his passion.
The British Jewish community was immensely enriched by Brian's work, and is poorer for his passing. I wish his wife Sylvia and family comfort and pray that his memory will be a blessing.
JLC PRESS RELEASE
Thursday 20th December 2018
JLC Board & Council of Membership Change
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced that Gerald Ronson CBE has agreed to lead, jointly with Lord Feldman, the national fundraising effort for the Memorial to the Holocaust and Learning Centre. Following this announcement, the Jewish Leadership Council (‘JLC’) has been informed that Gerald Ronson CBE is stepping down from the JLC’s Board and Council of Membership to focus on his new role; the changes are with immediate effect.
Commenting, Jonathan Goldstein, JLC Chairman said:
“On behalf of everyone at the JLC, I would like to thank Gerald for the tremendous contribution he has made to the JLC since the organisation was founded in 2003. Gerald is one of the greatest leaders in our community and has been an unparalleled mentor for me and so many others.”
Gerald Ronson CBE, commented:
“As 2019 approaches, I have been reviewing my business and Community commitments. I have agreed to support the Government in leading the fundraising campaign for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre. I expect that this very important project will take a considerable amount of my time and, coupled with my role as Chairman of the Community Security Trust, the work of my Foundation, and my business interests, I believe that it is time for me to step down from the Jewish Leadership Council. The JLC plays a fundamental role in our community and I am proud to have been of service for the last 15 years; the JLC will continue to have my support and guidance whenever it is needed.”
Come and see the JLC at Limmud this year
JLC Chair, Jonathan Goldstein, will be at the following sessions:
Sunday 14.40, Orange 10: The future of the Jewish community
Jonathan Goldstein will be talking about the JLC plans for the future of the Jewish community including: antisemitism in the Labour Party, financial sustainability of the Jewish Community and welfare of the Jewish Community (social care and mental health).
Sunday 16.00, Red 1: Corbyn’s Labour and the American Democratic Party on Israel and the Jewish Community
On the panel: Andrew Gilbert Ella Rose Jonathan Goldstein Kenneth Bob
The British Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn has lost a lot of its Jewish support both around antisemitism and also as it has changed and continues to change its view of the Middle East - Israel/Palestine. Are there any similarities with trends in the Democrat Party in the USA? What are the influencing factors? Bibi? Trump? Internal? Campus? Ethnic?
Sunday 18.40, Orange 15: Wes Streeting of Ilford North - it used to be quite Jewish
On the panel: Marie van der Zyl Jonathan Goldstein Wes Streeting MP Adrian Cohen Daniel Carmel-Brown
Wes is one of the lead voices supporting us but also is the MP for Ilford North which was once the heart of the Jewish community but today is over 50% Muslim, Hindu, Sikh. What can the Jewish community learn from interfaith, interethnic interactions.
Claudia Mendoza, Director of Policy and Public Affairs will be at the following sessions:
Monday 17.30, Orange 15: Antisemitism, Brexit, Corbyn: an ABC of UK Jewish public policy
On the panel: Claudia Mendoza Philip Rosenberg
The key public policy professionals from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council look back on the main challenges facing the Jewish community in 2018 and look ahead to what to expect in 2019. They will be seeking your input in to how the community should respond to the key issues of the day.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5th December 2018
Jewish community gathers in Trafalgar Square to celebrate Chanukah
The Jewish community gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to #UniteUnderTheLight for a fun and entertaining evening to celebrate Chanukah, the festival of light, with exciting new musical acts, speeches and performances.
There were a number of headline acts including the Solomon Brothers (as seen on “The Voice”, Israel), the Kedma Band with Rabbi Levene, alongside traditional performances from Akiva School Choir, appearances around the Square from Dreidleman and speeches from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, Israeli Ambassador, Mark Regev, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. The evening was compèred by award winning comedian Rachel Creeger.
It is estimated that more than 3,500 people attended the event.
Chanukah in the Square this year was an opportunity for the Jewish community to come together in unity to celebrate a festival, which commemorates the triumph of light over darkness.
A new, temporary menorah was used for the event this year, allowing the event to continue to be a source of pride and a symbol of unity for everyone in the Jewish community.
We were thrilled that there were so many people from the Jewish community, other faiths, backgrounds, and people from all over London joined us to celebrate Chanukah.
The menorah will stay up in Trafalgar Square for the duration of Chanukah, with a new light added on each night of the festival.
Chanukah in the Square this year was jointly presented by the Jewish Leadership Council, Chabad Lubavitch UK, London Jewish Forum, Genesis Philanthropy Group and supported by the CST and Mayor of London.
🕎 It's time to #uniteunderthelight for Chanukah next Wednesday in London's Trafalgar Square. Our JLC Chief Executive Simon Johnson has this message 🕎
JLC Community Wellbeing Task Force Introduces Pilot Project in 5 Jewish Schools
The Community Wellbeing Task Force is a JLC-led initiative to address the increasing mental health challenges facing Jewish children and young people today. Exemplifying the very best of cross-communal collaboration, the pilot project is the first result of the commitment and dedication of JLC member organisations including Norwood, Jami, Camp Simcha, PaJeS and Reshet, with support and guidance from generous philanthropic individuals and foundations.
The Community Wellbeing Project is a 3-year pilot scheme stemming from the advice of an expert panel and commissioned research, which identified that a positive approach to mental health and wellbeing requires an educated partnership between school staff, parents/carers and students. All stakeholders must work together to ensure a culture of wellbeing exists throughout the school.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in ten children in the UK (three per classroom) aged between 5-16 has a diagnosable mental health problem. At a recent PaJeS conference, Jewish primary and secondary school teachers spoke of the increasing challenges in managing the additional pressure of student’s mental health related issues and how and where to direct them. The Jewish community offers complementary support to many statutory services and the JLC believes the enormity of the challenge requires no different.
Wellbeing Practitioners are being recruited in 5 pilot schools in London and Manchester to build on existing programmes, run new evidence-based initiatives and work together to share best practices. The pilot schools are Yavneh College, JFS, JCoSS, Broughton Jewish Primary School and Rimon Primary School.
The Wellbeing Practitioner will support the school in the development and delivery of its whole school approach to emotional wellbeing. They will also have oversight of the implementation of all wellbeing resources used in the school, ensuring a holistic, coordinated and thorough programme of activity that reaches out in creative and imaginative ways. The project will combine current communal expertise, resources and capacity with best practise from outside the community.
The Community Wellbeing Taskforce is to be chaired by Nicola Cobbold. Clinical governance for the pilot project is being led by Dr Mark Berelowitz, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Royal Free Hospital and the project is being managed by Julia Alberga on behalf of the JLC. Monitoring and evaluation of the 3-year pilot will be provided by The Anna Freud Centre.
Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council said: “This is the JLC at its best – bringing together the very finest of our community and working collaboratively to identify and implement solutions to address the long term problems we face. I am proud we have banded together to work as one and I am confident that the coalition we have assembled will continue to work towards our collective goal: protecting the mental wellbeing of our children.”
Rachel Fink, Headteacher JFS, said: “We are excited and privileged to be involved in the community wellbeing project which reflects the importance we place on mental health and wellbeing across the community.”
Julia Alberga, project manager said, “In recognising the importance of this project, communal organisations and philanthropic individuals and foundations are working together to ensure the positive wellbeing of future generations of Jewish children.”
Vice President of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), Lord Monroe Palmer, today hosted a lunch for Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians. Representatives from the JLC, including Chair, Jonathan Goldstein were present.
The lunch was an opportunity for MPs and Peers to hear about issues of interest to the Jewish community and JLC member organisations. The discussion covered a wide range of policy areas including education, social care, mental health, antisemitism and community security.
The lunch was attended by 8 MPs and 9 Peers.
Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Monroe Palmer said:
"I have been delighted to host this afternoon's lunch and continue the collaborative relationship the Jewish Leadership Council have with the Liberal Democrats. It is vitally important we continue to work together against this backdrop of division within our society."
JLC Chair, Jonathan Goldstein, said:
“I was delighted so many Liberal Democrat parliamentarians were able to join us at today’s lunch. It was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the work of our members and strengthen the relationship between the community and the party.”