The Jewish Leadership Council Accounts Show Community Investment And Future Planning

The Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has published its 2015 accounts which show its commitment to community investment, infrastructure and events.

As part of its core function, as the umbrella organisation for the institutions of the Jewish community, the JLC facilitated Jewish community meetings with Government and parliamentarians including the annual meeting with the Prime Minister, the meetings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Secretary, the Leader of the Opposition and the Secretary of State for Education.

The JLC has also supported many vibrant and inclusive community events including Chanukah in the Square where, in partnership with the Mayor of London, Chabad Lubavitch UK and the London Jewish Forum, nearly 7,000 participants celebrated the festival in Trafalgar Square.

2015 also saw the JLC set out to better understand what contributes to deepening involvement with Jewish life, a project that will benefit many of its members. The JLC published a report in September 2015 entitled “Exploring Synagogue Vitality” by Professor Steven M Cohen and Michelle Terret, exploring the role that synagogues play in community vitality. In addition, jointly with the UJIA, the JLC instituted Reshet, the Network for Jewish Youth Provision. Reshet supports those professionals who work with Jewish youth, with a view to enhancing the offerings to Young Jewish people. Other research included the “Mapping social care organisations and facilities in the UK Jewish Community” prepared by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research to aid the community’s social care bodies.

The JLC’s sub-divisions, The Partnership for Jewish Schools (PaJeS) and Lead have become the go-to organisations in their fields. PaJeS oversees policy on Jewish Schools, from strategy on capacity to education policy. Lead has looked to develop lay and professional leaders with ambition, ability and authenticity to lead a vibrant and vital Jewish community. The highlight has been the “GameChangers” Senior Leadership programme, in which 16 senior leaders completed their programme many taking on prominent positions throughout the community.

As an umbrella body the JLC is uniquely positioned to coordinate inter-organisational activity. Projects like “Golders Green Together” involved a partnership between the JLC and its member organisations, the London Jewish Forum, the Community Security Trust, and the Board of Deputies.

The JLC has also increased its capacity to counter threats to the community from BDS, delegitimisation of the State of Israel and anti-Zionist antisemitism. A new External Affairs division has been created, headed by Bernard Hughes, to oversee, support and facilitate the community’s response when these Israel related issues impact upon the UK Jewish community and to establish relationships with local non-Jewish communities. A key thrust of this new division is to build capacity in the Regions so that as devolution becomes the norm across the country the community is well placed to interact with decision makers at every level of government. The JLC will also support the constructive efforts of grass root activists both from within and without our community.

Jewish students on campus has also been a focus for the JLC. The JLC has prioritised work with UJS, UK Jewish Chaplaincy and Universities UK to protect students and ensure campus is a safe place for Jewish students.

Commenting on the accounts, Sir Mick Davis, the Chairman of the JLC said:

In the JLC, along with PaJeS and Lead, we have put together an outstanding team of experts in their fields, who we believe are providing a world-class resource to our members and the community as a whole. 2015 was a memorable year for our organisation and I am confident that we will continue to provide excellent support to our members as well as facilitating the strategic responses that a vibrant community like ours needs to guarantee its growth and ongoing success.