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BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS ADVOCACY FOR THE COMMUNITY  
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COMMUNITY BRIEFING
 
 
 
Board of Deputies pledges to 'continue to campaign energetically for justice for the Uyghurs' after Genocide Amendment narrowly falls

Following the narrow defeat in the House of Commons – 319 votes to 308 – of the Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill, which the Board of Deputies had backed, President Marie van der Zyl said:
 

“While it was very close, we are disappointed that Parliament has not used this opportunity to show its support for the Uyghurs as they face an apparent genocide in China. That said, we will continue to campaign energetically for justice for the Uyghurs and will be supporting the revised amendment to be tabled in the House of Lords. The Uyghurs will have their day in court.”

The vote in the House of Commons followed a series of Board of Deputies interventions on the plight of the Uyghurs.

Last Friday, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl wrote to the Prime Minister, urging him to support the cross-party Lords amendment to the Trade Bill, which would have allowed the UK High Court to make a preliminary legal determination of genocide, overcoming China's veto at the United Nations. You can read Marie's letter here.
 


 
Earlier, the Board of Deputies hosted an emergency meeting in which senior MPs from across Parliament spoke about their horror at the plight of the Chinese Uyghurs and the stark choice facing the international community. Speakers at the event included former leader of the Conservative Party Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat, Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael and Lord Alton of Liverpool, who put forward the amendment.

The meeting also heard from Rahima Mahmut, spokesperson for the World Uyghur Congress, who said: “I plead with you to support the amendment. What is happening is not a secret anymore. By telling my story I am putting my loved ones at great risk but this is the least we can do."

You can watch a recording of the event, chaired by Director of Public Affairs Philip Rosenberg, here.

 
 
Tragic rise in Covid-19 deaths in the Jewish community

Working with the Jewish community’s burial boards, regional Jewish communities and the Jewish Small Communities Network, as of the week ending 15th January there have been 740 Jewish funerals carried out where the deceased contracted Covid-19. This represents an increase of 49 such reported funerals on the previous week. 

We wish bereaving families a long life, and pray that the memory of their loved ones should be for a blessing.

 
This week, the Board of Deputies Hidden Treasures project featured this ring, from the Sir Nicholas Winton Archive, which was presented to Sir Nicholas Winton by Czech and Slovak Kinder at a reunion in June 1988.  It is engraved with the words “Save one life, save the world,”  and commemorates the lives Sir Nicholas saved.

For more treasures see www.celebratingjewisharchives.org and follow us on social media @seethetreasures.
 
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust are running their first fully digital ceremony to mark UK Holocaust Memorial Day 2021. The event is open, with registration required to receive the link to join. You can find information on how to register, as well as information about the #LightTheDarkness campaign, on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website here.
 
 
 
ACTIVITY REPORT
 
 
CORONAVIRUS
Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg joined a regional NGO roundtable with the Cabinet Office to discuss the Coronavirus response and messaging.
 

Director of Operations Judy Silkoff, International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby, Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles and Co-Ach Manager Sara Radivan met with Samantha Robinson from the JReady Network, to discuss the community's emergency response to Coronavirus and sharing best practice and expertise from the UK. 

COMMUNITY
Chief Executive Gillian Merron chaired the panel 'Is It Time To Change The Subject On Mental Health?' The panel featured Laurie Rackind, Chief Executive for Jami UK, Sandi Mann, the Clinical Lead for JAMH, Director of Operations Judy Silkoff and Debby Klein, a Service User and Consultant. You can watch a recording of the event here.

Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb was the guest speaker at the Bristol and West Progressive Jewish Congregation Annual General Meeting. Sheila spoke about recent work, highlighting the activities of the International Division.

Chief Executive Gillian Merron represented the Board of Deputies at the Jewish Leadership Council's CEO Forum.

Chief Executive Gillian Merron represented the Board of Deputies at a roundtable of women in senior roles in Jewish organisations, brought together by member organisation Alliance of Jewish Women, to meet with the Faith Engagement Advisor at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. MHCLG are leading a review into how best the government should engage with faith groups.

Director of Operations Judy Silkoff chaired meetings of the HR Forum and the Operations Forum, attended by professionals from a wide range of communal organisations.

Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles and Social Action Manager Anthony Silkoff met with Kira Blumer, Chief Executive Officer for Tzedek to discuss areas of future work together.
 
Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles and Director of Operations Judy Silkoff met with Georgina Bye, Chief Executive for Mitzvah Day to discuss areas of future work together.

Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger met the new chairs of JNet, the Civil Service Jewish Network, to discuss plans for the year ahead. The organisation is sponsored by the Board of Deputies.
 
Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles led a session for the Muswell Hill Synagogues' Hadracha Leadership Course.
INTERNATIONAL

International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby held a meeting with Russell Langer from the JLC, Steve Winston from the Zionist Federation and Marcus Sheff from the NGO IMPACT-se (The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education), a non-profit organization that monitors the content of school textbooks in the Middle East, to discuss responses to the incitement to violence and promotion of intolerance in UNWRA education materials. 

 

International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby attended a webinar hosted by B'nai B'rith International EU Affairs team entitled 'Unpacking the Digital Services Act: Does the new EU digital rule book address online hate and antisemitism?' 

INTERFAITH
Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Interfaith and Social Action Manager Anthony Silkoff met with the leadership of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland to talk about opportunities for dialogue and cooperation between Christian and Jewish communities.
EDUCATION
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger attended a meeting of the Faith School Providers Group at the Department for Education. Topics discussed included Covid testing in schools, prioritised vaccinations for teachers and school staff, and free school meals.
HERITAGE
Archives and Heritage Manager Dawn Waterman met Ed Horwich of the Jewish Small Communities Network to discuss heritage projects.
POLITICAL
Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman discussed means of fighting antisemitism online through the Online Harms Bill with officials from the Bill teams and the Home Office and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg, Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman and London Jewish Forum Director Daniel Kosky met Vauxhall MP Florence Eshalomi to talk about tackling antisemitism, anti-black racism and engagement with the local Jewish community.

Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman chaired an event with Christian Wakeford, MP for Bury South. The event was held together with local Synagogues and the Manchester Jewish Representative Council, with the Jewish Telegraph as media partner. You can watch the event back here.
 
 
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