News

Exec's Summary: November 2012

Over the past month my diary took on a particular rhythm. Almost every day that was not a Jewish festival was a political party conference. Communal engagement with the party conferences remains an important opportunity to ensure that our voice is heard by political leaders on a range of policy issues is that matter to the community. It is also a moment where outward facing communal bodies and relevant interest groups are able to work as a team in ensuring that our issues are not simply drowned out amidst all of the other noise and chaos. The joint meetings held by JLC and Board of Deputies representatives at the conferences provide a particularly effective and unified voice.

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Chair's Message: November 2012

Once again our newsletter is highlighting a number of important developments in the field of Jewish schooling. We make no apology for this. JLC's newest Division, PaJeS (Partnerships for Jewish Schools) led by Jonathan Goldstein and Alastair Falk has already hit the ground running. In addition to staring to implement our reorganisation of the North East London Jewish schools, we are proud that next month PaJeS will be delivering the first communal conference on Special Educational Needs in recent history. The need to do more in this area was highlighted by our original Commission on Jewish Schools. The partnership on this issue between ourselves, the Board of Deputies and Norwood is committed to ensuring that the conference is just the start of this process. On the theme of delivery and implementation, I am also pleased to report the start of the process of ensuring that the recommendations of our recent JLC Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership has been adopted and taken up by the relevant institutions around the community. Together with the Board of Deputies we have taken central responsibility for delivering the recommendations around the theme of Governance, and funding the 'Award for Change'.

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Localism

As part of our on-going strategy to manage the unintended consequences of localism, we are arranging a series of lunches with MPs from the three main political parties at the House of Commons. We aim to open a conversation with them about the issues we face as a community and plan to continue contacts within their relevant constituencies through the Board of Deputies and Regional Representative Councils to ensure productive and sustained engagement between Jewish communities and their elected representatives. These events are held on a cross-party basis and convened in partnership with Mike Freer MP, as a representative of the constituency with the largest Jewish population.

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Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS)

Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS) has been established as a division of the JLC to lead the response to the growth of Jewish schools in the UK. Building on recent strategic and consultative work, it aims to consolidate existing projects and encourage greater efficiency and collaboration, as well as sharing excellent practice. It will engage schools in a debate about how to move Jewish education from good to great and help to provide resources where required. Its guiding vision is to work with schools so that all children become enthusiastic and successful Jewish learners, active and involved Jewish citizens and creative and effective contributors to the Jewish community and the wider world. By incorporating the already existing and hugely successful Jewish Curriculum Partnership, it aims also to ensure that all classrooms are well resourced and taught by qualified, high calibre, well-skilled and inspirational teachers.

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Dilnot Commission

The JLC helped co-ordinate communal input into the Dilnot Commission on Elderly Care. Here, Jewish Care's Daniel Casson examines the Government's recently published response to the commission's recommendations.

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Olympics & Paralympics

The Jewish Committee for the London Games is a coalition of Jewish communal organisations who came together to play their part in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympics Games. With the LJFJLCJVNCSTUJIAMaccabi GB, the Board and others, the JCLG have been working to deliver a real legacy for the Community from the games.

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Exec's Summary: September 2012

It's been a memorable summer for the UK, and no less so for the Jewish community. Our engagement with the 2012 Olympics through the work of the Jewish Committee for the London Games was an example of communal coordination at its best. Thankfully the plans to respond to any attempts by the boycott movement to misuse the Olympics for their own purposes never had to be tested. The memorial ceremony for the murdered Munich 11, organised in full partnership with the Embassy of Israel and Israel's National Olympic Committee was a moving and memorable occasion. The attendance and involvement of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Mayor of London, Minister for the Middle East and German Foreign Minister conveyed an important message despite the intransigence of the IOC and their refusal to include a moment of remembrance in the main Olympic schedule.

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Chair's Message: September 2012

As you may have read in the media over the summer, the JLC is supporting Professor Moty Cristal in taking legal action against Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust and UNISON. Our approach to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in the UK has consistently been to expose its discriminatory agenda. Legal action is always a last resort. However in this instance we could not simply sit back and allow a public body and a union that has adopted policy hostile to Israel and its supporters, to commit a clear act of discrimination against an academic because he happens to an Israeli. We are pleased that the TUC has distanced itself from this action and hope that the Government will do the same.

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Fair Play Statement on TUC Vote

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Circumcision is a Vital Part of Jewish Life

JLC CEO Jeremy Newmark writes in The Huffington Post about the importance of circumcision in Jewish life.

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