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Board of Deputies
Community Briefing

David Miliband confirmed as guest of honour at President's dinner

The Board this week announced that the guest of honour at the President’s Dinner on 11 April 2016 will be President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, the Right Honourable David Miliband (pictured above).
From 2007 to 2010, David served as Foreign Secretary, placing a particular emphasis on human rights. As a leading member of the British Government he earned praise from former US President Bill Clinton who described him as "one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time”.
Board President Jonathan Arkush said: “As the son of refugees and through his current role, David embodies so much of the Jewish experience, both through his actions which bring to mind ‘tikkun olam’ and his sensitivity to the plight of others. David is by any standard a major figure. We are privileged that he has accepted our invitation and look forward to welcoming him to the President's Dinner in London on 11 April."

Read the JC report here and the Jewish News article here.

Chief Executive Gillian Merron at her desk at the Board's new offices in Kentish Town, shared with the UJIA. We look forward to welcoming visitors and hosting events at our new HQ. Please note that our new address is 1 Torriano Mews, London NW5 2RZ. 

Board calls on Government to pursue global climate deal

With the start of the COP 21 Climate Conference in Paris this week, the Board of Deputies is joining together with people of all faiths and none to call on our Government to pursue a global climate deal in Paris this December that requires all countries to take their fair share of action to limit global temperature rise to well below the internationally agreed target of 2°c.
Board Vice President Sheila Gewolb said:  The issue of Climate Change is one that affects the whole community and, as Jews, we have a responsibility to look after the environment for our children and grandchildren."
The Board has launched its "1 for 8 Eco Chanukah Challenge" to stretch one day’s worth of fossil fuel “oil” consumption over all eight days of Chanukah. For details of what to do, click

Jonathan Arkush in Glasgow for "hectic" schedule of meetings

Board President Jonathan Arkush visited Glasgow’s Jewish community last weekend for a packed schedule of meetings and events.

Jonathan said: "In the course of a hectic two days in Scotland I met leading figures in the Scottish Parliament, Church of Scotland and Edinburgh University, gave three addresses to community members and toured Jewish Care Scotland, Newark Care and Maccabi.

"It was intense and productive. I saw for myself a vibrant, confident community with outstanding facilities and a visionary leadership. Regional Jewish communities certainly face challenges, but with sound leadership and a readiness to adapt they can and will continue to be a vital part of Britain's thriving Jewish life."

To see photos and a report of the visit, click here.


Board Activity


Board President Jonathan Arkush addressed the Litvak Days conference organised by the Embassy of Lithuania and University College London's Department of Hebrew and Jewish History.

Chief Executive Gillian Merron and Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg attended a British Council reception to celebrate the ongoing success of BIRAX, the UK-Israel science and research programme.

Gillian Merron and International Affairs Officer David Walsh attended a speech given by Canada's new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, at the Canadian High Commission.

Senior Vice President Richard Verber and Interfaith and Social Action Projects Officer Rabbi Natan Levy attended the climate change rally in London and the sell-out interfaith event which preceded it.

David Walsh met the head of the Serbia and Montenegro team and a desk officer at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss a proposed law regarding heirless properties in Serbia. David is co-operating closely with the World Jewish Restitution Organisation to raise issues of concern in the field of restitution.
In his role as Regional Director at the Commonwealth Jewish Council, David Walsh attended a farewell dinner for the High Commissioner of India, HE Ranjan Mathai. The dinner was hosted by President Lord Mendelsohn, trustee Laura Marks OBE and CEO Clive Lawton in the presence of Indian Jews in the UK.
The UK Taskforce and the Board of Deputies hosted a briefing with Hannah Rendell of Hagar, an organisation which provides shared educational spaces for Arabs and Jews in the Negev. 

Grassroots Consultant on Israel Steven Jaffe spoke in Leeds at an advocacy meeting for the TEAM group of churches in advance of their visit to Israel. Or Nehushtan, shaliach to the Leeds Jewish community, was among the other speakers.
Steven Jaffe took part in a panel event sponsored by the Community Relations Council of Northern Ireland to give a Jewish perspective on the subject of conflict, remembrance and reconciliation. Among the other members of the panel were a senior member of the Protestant Orange Order, a leading Catholic educator and a member of the province's Hindu community.


Steven Jaffe was a guest of Major Paul Hilditch of the Salvation Army at the William Booth College in Denmark Hill, London. Earlier in the year Major Hilditch led a group of students from the college on a visit to West London synagogue. Major Hilditch is leading a visit to Israel in 2016.


Education Policy and Projects Manager Sara Perlmutter delivered a Judaism day at St Cyprians Greek Orthodox School in Norbury as a follow up to the Jewish Living Experience exhibition that they hosted last year.

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) magazine, Four Corners, is online now. Read it here.


Gillian Merron and Parliamentary Affairs Officer Sophie Dunoff attended the Cross-Government Working Group on Antisemitism. Areas covered included the counter extremism strategy, proscribed terrorist organisations in relation to flag flying  and issues surrounding Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions at local government level.

Following a meeting with Jonathan Arkush and Vice President Marie van der Zyl, the LSE wrote in a letter to Jonathan that it was “deeply troubled” by the "celebration of violence" at an exhibition staged by the university's Palestine Society. Read the Jewish News report here.


Gillian Merron spoke to Nottingham's Jewish community (with guests from Leicester) about the relevance of the Board today, at the invitation of Michael Sokal, Deputy for Nottingham Liberal Synagogue. 

Jonathan Arkush gave the keynote speech at Bushey Living Torah on his ‘"personal vision for the Board of Deputies."

Jonathan Arkush addressed 160 young professionals at Dennington Park Synagogue’s Friday Night Dinner in West Hampstead.

JLGB has unveiled a new campaign entitled "Do Your Bit" to address a national shortage of adult volunteers who can commit to giving a few hours one night a week to local JLGB groups. For full information and to register your interest, click here.


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