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Board of Deputies and Jewish News to bring a 'global first' Chanukah celebration featuring ambassadors of Israel, Bahrain and UAE

The Board of Deputies this week announced what is thought to be a "global first" celebration of Chanukah featuring the ambassadors of Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.

The event, entitled "Chanukah in a New Light", takes place on December 15 and will feature UAE Ambassador Mansoor Abulhoul, Bahraini Ambassador Sheikh Fawaz Al-Khalifa and Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely. Also taking part in this celebration will be Chazan Jonny Turgel and the Sacks Morasha school choir.

It will stream live on the Board of Deputies and Jewish News Facebook pages on 15 December at 7pm.

Marie van der Zyl pays tribute to past president Eldred Tabachnik

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has paid tribute to former Board of Deputies President Eldred Tabachnik following his death at the weekend.

Marie said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my distinguished predecessor, Eldred Tabachnik, QC, z”l, who served as President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews for two terms, from 1994 to 2000. As president, Eldred oversaw a radical modernisation of the organisation to make it more “democratic, efficient, effective and accountable”, and travelled widely throughout the UK and beyond reaching out to communities in far-flung locations. It is a testament to his far-sightedness that the results have served us for more than a generation and that we are only now reviewing the structures again towards the same objectives.

"In his time as president, Eldred saw his former 11 Kings Bench Walk Chambers colleague Tony Blair become Prime Minister.  Eldred was also President of the European Jewish Congress from 1996-98.  Eldred’s service to the community also extended to his presidency of Boys’ Town Jerusalem, and many years as Warden of Richmond Synagogue, during which time he was one of those instrumental in acquisition and construction of a new synagogue. His legal brain was legendary.  After growing up in South Africa, he taught law at UCL, inspiring many law students, and then turned to the Bar. He was appointed a QC very young and was one of the leading employment lawyers of his generation. He served as a Recorder from 2000. We send our condolences to his wife Jenny, his children (Andrew, Mark and Nikki) and his wider family.”


This week, the Board of Deputies' Hidden Treasures shared this photograph of Burton’s Tailor’s shop at 43 Church Street, St Helen’s taken in the 1930s. We celebrated the founder of the business Sir Montague Burton, born Meshe David Osinsky, an immigrant and philanthropist from Kovno who had set up his first shop in Chesterfield by 1904. The image is courtesy of Leeds Museums and Galleries

Board of Deputies thanks Premier League for adopting international definition of antisemitism  
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has applauded the Premier League for its adoption of the international  definition of antisemitism.

Marie said: “We thank the Premier League and its clubs for adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism. The ugliness of antisemitism has no place in the beautiful game. Our gratitude also goes to Lord John Mann for his indefatigable work towards this tremendous outcome.”
The Board of Deputies co-hosted an online event with the Embassy of Israel and Harif, entitled 'A Commemoration of the Plight of Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries and Iran' featuring Vice-President Edwin Shuker, Rabbi Elie Abadie, Senior Rabbi of Jewish Council of the Emirates and co-President of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries and Ben Dror-Yemini.  You can watch it here.

Chief Executive Gillian Merron was guest speaker for the World Jewish Congress, at a special meeting of their board members. She briefed them on the UK Jewish community, the impact of Covid and antisemitism.

International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby attended a webinar hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, entitled 'The Abraham Accords: Shaping the Future of the Middle East',with a panel featuring Shaikh Abdulaziz Bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, former Bahrain Ambassador to the UK, Shaikh Fawaz Al Khalifa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the UK and Con Coughlin, Defence Editor of The Daily Telegraph. The event was chaired by Alistair Burt, Former FCDO Minister for the Middle East and featured additional guest speakers, including former Bahraini Ambassador to the USA Houda Nonoo. 

Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg joined a European Jewish Congress event called “Online hate speech, conspiracy theories and radicalisation. Latest developments in the fight against antisemitism”.
Vice President Amanda Bowman, Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman and representatives from the Jewish Leadership Council, the Community Security Trust and the London Jewish Forum, as well as Sir Trevor Chinn, met Steve Reed, MP, Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government, to discuss antisemitism in Labour, communal security and opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Government, Regional and Religious Affairs Officer Daniel Elton attended a Jewish leaders meeting with Lord Greenhalgh, the minister responsible for faith within the Ministry for Housing, Local Government and Communities concerning Covid restrictions. The Government is urging responses to an independent investigation it has commissioned has into the role and importance of faith in society from citizens in general, particularly members of faith communities. You can respond here.
President Marie van der Zyl and Chief Executive Gillian Merron met David Arden, Chief Executive  of the S&P Sephardi Community and S&P Deputy Efrat Sopher to discuss plans to celebrate 125 years since the establishment of Lauderdale Road Synagogue.

Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb attended the Faith and Belief Community Awards which celebrated 40 exceptional projects from across London. The event was addressed by Sir Ken Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, and Dr David Dangoor, of Dangoor Education.  Dr Dangoor is chair of the Lord Lieutenant’s Council on Faith, one of the three arms of his ‘Building Bridges’ project to promote inclusivity for Londoners

Chief Executive Gillian Merron was a panellist at a Cambridge Friends of MDA event to raise funds for Magen David Adom UK National Lifesaving Day.

A joint Board of Deputies and Manchester Jewish Representative Council event was held to commemorate the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from the Arab Countries and Iran. Vice President Edwin Shuker, a refugee from Iraq, was interviewed by journalist Joseph Timan.  Mizrachi musical entertainment was provided by Yoav Oved.  The evening was opened by President Marie van der Zyl and chaired by Manchester Jewish Representative Council Russell Conn.  A vote of thanks was delivered by Jeremy Michelson, Vice Chair of Education of the Manchester Jewish Representative Council. You can watch a recording here.

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) presented to the Board of Deputies professional staff team in a 'Bitesize Training' session  to strengthen work between both organisations. 

Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan attended the Sheffield Jewish Community Havdalah service, which was a joint event with the Norwich Hebrew Congregation. 
Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan attended the Jewish Volunteers Network coffee morning.
Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan met Robert Marks, Deputy for the Cambridge Jewish Traditional Congregation, to discuss further Deputy engagement and future work together. 
Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan met Richard Yoffey and Richard Halstead, Deputy and President of Exeter Hebrew Congregation, to discuss further Deputy engagement and future work together.   

Operations Director Judy Silkoff, Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Communications Officer Simon Round met with Gedalia Guttentag, an editor of the Mishpacha magazine, to discuss future collaboration. Deputy Shmuel Yosef Davidsohn of South Tottenham Synagogue also attended.  
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger attended a virtual meeting of the Department for Education’s RSHE Working Group.
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger attended a meeting of the Faith/BAME Involvement Group in Wales, discussing a framework for Relationships and Sex Education in the country.
Vice President Amanda Bowman, together with Deputies from the Defence Division’s Higher Education Working Group, met UJS President James Harris and UJS Campaigns Organiser to discuss ways in which Jewish academics might be able to support Jewish students on campus. Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger also attended.
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