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BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS ADVOCACY FOR THE COMMUNITY  
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Shadow Home Secretary supports greater regulation online at Board of Deputies event on online hate
Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has told a Board of Deputies meeting on the subject of online hate that Labour will be supporting new legislation to regulate social media companies.

At the Labour Connected event, entitled, “How should we be combating online hate?’ Mr Thomas-Symonds said: “The platforms have been slow to act. The time has come where there has to be regulation.”

He added: “We have told the Government that we will work with it constructively to get online harms legislation right. There has to be a formal duty of care, independently regulated.”

Former Labour MP Ruth Smeeth spoke movingly of the online abuse she had been subjected to. She said: “I haven’t been able to wear my Apple watch at all since this time. When you get death
threats coming through on your wrist, that is overwhelming.”

In supporting greater regulation, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice David Lammy also spoke of the torrent of abuse which had been sent to him online. He said: The death threats are well documented. I have family who are not in the public eye and I’m really conscious that when people abuse me I’m a figure-head for a minority community.”

He added: “The consequence of antisemitism  in recent history have been real, serious, disastrous and catastrophic and we live with those consequences for generations. I deplore where we got to with antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

Read the Labour List report here and the Jewish News story here.
 
New Pikuach handbook ‘music to my ears’, says Chief Rabbi at online launch event
The new Pikuach Inspection Handbook was officially launched on Tuesday evening, with more than 80 people from across the field of Jewish education joining the online Zoom event.

Director of Pikuach Jeffrey Leader provided an overview of the new changes in the inspection framework, focusing on how a new module on Jewish Spiritual Development will be at the focus of Pikuach inspections. Jeffrey reflected that “All teachers, rabbis, inspectors need to work together to ensure the continuation of a vibrant, committed Jewish community. But we strongly believe that you can only do so by adding spiritual depth to all aspects of Jewish learning.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was guest of honour for the evening, and he reflected that “with our hearts, we must feel what we have studied” and that “emotion is crucially important to us in our learning… This is the focal point of the new handbook – it’s all about Jewish education, but recognises the place of the hearts of our children within that process.” Chief Rabbi Mirvis said that new Pikuach handbook is “music to my ears, and should be music to the ears of everyone in British Jewry right now. I am so proud of our excellent Jewish teaching staff in all of our schools across the country.”

For a full report and photos from the event, click here.
 
Join the Board of Deputies and Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel at the Liberal Democrat Conference 2020 for a discussion with new leader Sir Ed Davey about key issues of concern to the Jewish community.
Sir Ed will be in conversation with LDFI Hon. Chair Gavin Stollar, with a vote of thanks from Lord Monroe Palmer. Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl will introduce the event. It will be held as a Zoom webinar - click here to join or watch along on Facebook. 
 
Jewish community meets Welsh First Minister to discuss Labour antisemitism, education and BDS

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl, Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb and Chair of the South Wales Jewish Representative Council Laurence Kahn met with Welsh First Minister to discuss antisemitism in Labour, the proposed dilution of religious education and the Welsh government’s consideration of whether Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel by public bodies is legal.

 

Marie said: “We appreciate the First Minister meeting us at this difficult time, and he has given us assurances that Labour in Wales will react in a proper way to the forthcoming publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

 

“While we acknowledge that ensuring that religious education is mandatory is positive, we still believe that diluting the curriculum with non-faith elements is a step back in building a pluralistic tolerant society.

 

“We also want to urge the First Minister to express opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which has no positive impact on the conflict but whose main result is to foment a divisive and polarising debate in the UK that can sadly tip into antisemitism.”

 
This week, the Board of Deputies project Hidden Treasures featured a treasure from the Glamorgan Archives and the Jewish History Association of South Wales. They are plans drawn up by the well-known architect Delissa Joseph for the synagogue built in Cathedral Road, Cardiff in 1897. These included ambitious plans to add classrooms and residences for the minister, reader and beadle at the rear of the building. However, the synagogue was soon in financial difficulties and these were never built. The Synagogue closed in 1989, and the building has now been converted into office space. Check out the Hidden Treasure website here
 
 
 
ACTIVITY REPORT
 
 
THE BODCAST
Guardian Chief Political Correspondent Jessica Elgot, Jewish News Editor Richard Ferrer and Jewish Telegraph Editor Paul Harris, discussed how Jewish issues were handled by the media in our latest BoDCast, 'Have I Got News For Jews'. The session was chaired by Chief Executive Gillian Merron with an introduction by President Marie van der Zyl, If you would like to watch this BoDCast or any others in the series, click here.
COMMUNITY
President Marie van der Zyl was in conversation with Lord Dyson in an online event for the community at Northwood United Synagogue. The event was organised by Deputy Kim Cohen. 
 
President Marie van der Zyl made an online presentation to the members of the Holocaust Survivors Centre on the work that the Board of Deputies is carrying out on behalf of the community.

Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan met Gillian Moonman, Deputy and Chair of Southport Hebrew Congregation, to discuss future areas of collaboration  and further Deputy engagement in Southport. 
 
Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan met  Richard Cooper, Deputy for Portsmouth and Southsea Hebrew Congregation and Tony Cooper, Chair, to discuss future areas of collaboration and further Deputy engagement in Portsmouth. 
EDUCATION
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger gave a presentation about the Board of Deputies to Yavneh College’s Year 12 Advanced Leadership Course.
 
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger attended a Zoom meeting of the Faith/BAME Involvement Group in Wales, to discuss the Welsh government's proposals for Relationships and Sex Education.
INTERNATIONAL
International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby had a virtual meeting with Julie Decroix, Associate Director of AJC Europe, to discuss areas of mutual concern, such as combatting hate on social media and advocating for the proscription of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation throughout Europe.  

As part of the Board of Deputies' Bitesize Training, Vivian Aisen, Director of Public Diplomacy at the Israeli Embassy and Alexis David, the Community Engagement Officer, presented to the Board of Deputies Professional Staff Team on the work and priorities of the Embassy.
YOUTH ENGAGMENT
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger met Claudia Hyde and Eva Oddi from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to discuss potential collaboration in youth engagement.
CORONAVIRUS
Government, Regional and Religious Affairs Officer Daniel Elton organised roundtables for the Jewish denominations with Public Health England to help to provide clarity on Government guidance on Covid-19 secure worship.
 
 
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