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BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS ADVOCACY FOR THE COMMUNITY  
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COMMUNITY BRIEFING
 
 
 
Praise for 'incredible work' of Uyghur campaigners following defeat of Alton Amendment
Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl has reacted to this week's vote on the Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill  (the Alton amendment) which was lost by 318 to 300.

Marie said: “The Foreign Secretary announced that Britain would be joining the US, Canada and the EU in imposing sanctions against Chinese Government officials who are key perpetrators of the terrible oppression against the Uyghurs taking place in Xinjiang province. Subsequently, the House of Commons voted to secure a Select Committee process to assess genocide, which will ensure that there will be no trade deal with genocidal states without Parliamentary scrutiny.

“We thank the Government for acknowledging the
necessity of such steps in response to the terrible situation in Xinjiang. We commend the incredible work of Lord Alton, Nusrat Ghani MP, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China and the World Uyghur Congress in bringing the desperate plight of the Uyghur people to the attention of a much wider audience in the UK.

“The book of Proverbs says that, ‘the righteous can fall seven times but will still rise’. Whatever setbacks there may be, the Board of Deputies will remain steadfast in its support for the Uyghur people and will continue to do what it can to help them in their plight.”

You can read Marie van der Zyl's Red Box column in The time here 
 
Board of Deputies grows to 203 member organisations
The Board of Deputies now has 203 member organisations after Deputies voted to accept five new organisations into membership on Sunday.

Maccabi GB, the Jewish Association for Mental Illness (JAMI), The Friendship Circle, Mitzvah Day and The Jewish Vegetarian Society were all voted onto the Board. In addition, two new synagogues, Harrogate Hebrew Congregation and Aberdeen Hebrew Congregation, have also joined the Board of Deputies this month. Manchester North Salford (Vine Street) Synagogue has returned to the organisation. There are now 157 member synagogues and 46 other organisations making up the Board of Deputies.

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “I would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to the five organisations which have become the newest members of our expanding and diverse collection of community organisations representing all facets of the UK Jewish community. We are delighted that so many organisations have been seeking to join the organisation in recent months, from all political wings, denominations and charitable sectors. This is in large part due to the excellent work of our Community Engagement Team. Since the start of 2020, other new joiners have included Beis Gavriel, Crouch End Chavurah (Liberal), Harif, JLiving, Magen David Adom UK, Sadeh Farm, South Tottenham United Synagogue and Tiferet Eyal Federation. Recent rejoiners have included the Armed Forces Jewish Community, World Jewish Relief and UK Lawyers For Israel. We look forward to working with all our members and continue to welcome other synagogues and organisations to join the community’s democratic representative body.”

Read the full article here and the Jewish News report here.
 
Today, we say a fond farewell to our Chief Executive Gillian Merron who, after nearly seven years in the post, is leaving the Board of Deputies to take her place in the House of Lords as Baroness Merron of Lincoln. We wish her every success in Parliament. We would also like to welcome Michael Wegier, who takes over as our Interim Chief Executive.
 
Amanda Bowman ‘delighted’ that Middlesex University has adopted antisemitism definition
Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman has applauded Middlesex University for adopting the international definition of antisemitism.

Amanda said: “We are delighted that Middlesex has adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which has the consensus approval of the Jewish community. The Board of Deputies, together with Jewish communal partners, was pleased to meet Professor Nic Beech and his team last month and we look forward to building on the discussions to develop opportunities for collaboration and communications between the community and the university.”
 
Marie van der Zyl calls for public inquiry into 'shocking' revelations on Nazi War criminals in Britain
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has called for a public inquiry into allegations that the British Intelligence Services actively helped Nazi war criminals come to the UK after the Second World War and protected them from facing justice, calling this “a very dark day for Britain – and for British Jews.”

In a BBC Radio 4 programme called “The Nazi Next Door” which aired this week,  journalists investigated the case of a Nazi war criminal called Stanislaw Chrzanowski, who murdered at least 30 people, possibly far more, at the death pits in Slonim, Belarus. Tens of thousands of Jews were murdered in Slonim over a period from 1941-1942.

The Radio 4 Investigation has confirmed that Chrzanowski subsequently worked for British intelligence in the 1950s. The programme alleges that not only were the British intelligence services well aware of what Chrzanowski had done, but that he and many others like him were welcomed into Britain in return for their services.

Read the full report here. You can listen to the programme via this link.
 
 
 
 
ACTIVITY REPORT
 
 
SOCIAL ACTION
Responding to the announcement of a new criminal offence to tackle unauthorised encampments, President Marie van der Zyl said: “Because of our shared history, the Jewish community is acutely aware of how Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities have suffered. The disgraceful revelations about Pontins holiday parks, recently exposed by the EHRC, have sadly shown that this discrimination is not yet consigned to the past. With that in mind, as we stated in our submission to the Home Office consultation on unauthorised encampments, any new policy must be very careful in terms of its potential impact on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, which are already some of the most marginalised in the UK.  It is the lack of authorised sites that is the root of the problem and we ask that policymakers heed the calls of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, as well as many police, who are cautioning against criminalising unauthorised encampments.”
INTERNATIONAL
President Marie van der Zyl, in her role as Regional President for Europe of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, attended the CJC's Presidents Forum with the Regional Presidents of North America, Australasia and Africa where they discussed the pandemic, Eco Synagogue, climate change and engagement between Israel and Commonwealth. The meeting was chaired by the President of the CJC, Lord Mendelsohn. 

President Marie van der Zyl spoke at the WJC-Israel and the Israel Council on Foreign Relations' virtual Passover event for the diplomatic corps in Israel, where she reflected on the British Jewish traditions of Passover and expressed hope that next year, our Seders will once again be in person. 
 
Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby held a virtual meeting with Toby Davis, Parliamentary and Communications Manager for Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel to discuss parliamentary engagement and potential collaborative opportunities. 
 
International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby held a virtual meeting with Juliet Wattebot O'Brien, Head of the Freedom of Religion or Belief Team at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and members of her team, to discuss priorities of the Board of Deputies of British Jews' advocacy for religious freedoms, including the plight of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Shechita and Brit Milah, and Holocaust Restitution. 
 
International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby attended a panel discussion hosted by the Embassy of Israel in the UK, on 'Voices of Faith: Women's Leadership in Society – Insights from the UK and Israel', which explored women's leadership through a cross-cultural exchange, between the distinctly religious lens of Israeli society, and that of the UK, particularly in relation to its two state churches: the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. 

International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby attended a webinar hosted by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Jewish Agency for Israel, entitled "Connecting Israel, Jewish & Global Communities", which focused on international relations in the post-Abraham Accords era and global Jewish communities, featuring Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog; Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Alon Ushpiz; Chairman of the America-Israel Friendship League in Israel, Ambassador Dan Gillerman; and moderated by former Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzipi Livni. 

As part of the Board of Deputies Bitesize Training, European Jewish Congress Executive Vice-President and CEO Raya Kalenova delivered a training session to the Board of Deputies’ professional staff about the work the organisation undertakes. The training session also helps to strengthen the working relationship between the two organisations.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Vice President Amanda Bowman and Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg attended a roundtable meeting with Camden Council leader, Cllr Georgia Gould, which had been requested by the London Jewish Forum. Amanda and Phil raised issues around antisemitism and coroners’ services. You can see a tweet about the meeting here.
COMMUNITY
Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan joined the Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation Covid 19 Advisory Group meeting and offered advice and assistance. 
 
A regional Jewish Representative Councils Chairs and Presidents meeting, convened by the Board of Deputies, was held with discussions held about Eco Synagogue and the Census.  A Covid 19 update was also provided. The meeting was chaired by President Marie van der Zyl. Also in attendance, representing the Board of Deputies, were Vice President Edwin Shuker, Public Affairs Director Phil RosenbergEco Synagogue Project Manager Andrea Passe, Government, Regional and Religious Affairs Officer Daniel Elton, Director of Operations Judy Silkoff and Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara RadivanInterim Chief Executive Michael Wegier was introduced to the Chairs and Presidents.  Attending the meeting, representing their communities were Dennis Coppel (Belfast), Ruth Jacobs (Birmingham and West Midlands), Marilyn Keen (Bournemouth), Paul Edlin (Glasgow), Laura Gold (Hull), Susie Gordon (Leeds), Michelle Hayward (Liverpool), Russell Conn and Jeremy Michelson (Manchester), Monica Stern and Linda Scott (Newcastle and North East), Laurence Khan (South Wales), Beryl Sharpe and Sarah Wilkes (Sussex) and Ed Horwich (Jewish Small Communities Network). 
 
Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara RadivanCommunity Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles and Archives and Heritage Manager Dawn Waterman hosted a Deputies Coffee Break with more than 30 Deputies from all over the country in attendance. 

Director of Operations Judy Silkoff convened and chaired the March meeting of the community’s Operations Forum.

Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles and Social Action and Interfaith Manager Anthony Silkoff met Graham Carpenter, the UK Community Manager for Olam to discuss future areas of collaboration. 
EDUCATION
Vice President Amanda Bowman, Interim Chief Executive Michael Wegier and Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger met the Provost of University College London, Dr Michael Spence, to discuss community relations and issues facing Jewish academics and students on campus.
 
Director of Pikuach Jeffrey Leader and Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger attended a meeting of the Ofsted section 48 inspectorate reference group.
 
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger attended a workshop of community partners facilitated by Gesher School.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger spoke with the London Jewish Forum’s Daniel Kosky, to discuss vaccine uptake amongst young adults in the community. The Board of Deputies is partnering with LJF and others on a Zoom event with medical experts to discuss the importance of young people taking the Covid-19 vaccination. If you are a young adult and would like to register for the event, please follow the link here.
ARCHIVES AND HERITAGE
Archives and Heritage Manager Dawn Waterman talked to a workshop of the Inter Faith Network’s National Meeting about Hidden Treasures’ COVID 19 archive which is collecting, in real time, digital material which shows the ‘practical, spiritual, inventive and compassionate’ ways in which the Jewish community has been responding to the pandemic. One participant called the initiative ‘inspiring’. Do send synagogue newsletters, announcements, photos or other ephemera showing how the community is dealing with coronavirus to dawn.waterman@bod.org.uk.

Archives and Heritage Manager Dawn Waterman took part in the Jewish Small Communities Network Connecting Small Histories Festival and talked about the Hidden Treasures; celebrating Jewish archives in Britain project and, in particular, the Your Treasures strand in which members of the public are encouraged to send in images of their own Jewish heirlooms.
ONLINE HATE
Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman took part in the WJC’s monthly Online Hate Working Group.
 
 
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