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BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS ADVOCACY FOR THE COMMUNITY  
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COMMUNITY BRIEFING
 
 
 
Labour front-bencher Steve Reed pledges to local councillors that party will continue to tackle antisemitism
Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government Steve Reed last night pledged to Yorkshire local councillors that the Labour Party will continue to tackle antisemitism within its ranks.
 
Mr Reed sent a video message to a seminar for local councillors, organised by Board of Deputies, the JLC and the Leeds Jewish Representative Council, which was attended by 40 local politicians. from Leeds, Sheffield, Harrogate and York councils, as well as areas representing fewer Jews such as Barnsley and Stockton on Tees. Councillors spent the session learning  about the Jewish community and its political priorities.
 
Secretary of State for Local Government Robert Jenrick sent good wishes to the event.
 
Lisa Baker, President of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council said: “It is an honour to have represented the community of Leeds and our surrounding communities at this councillor event. To see so many willing and engaged councillors from across Yorkshire and the Humber is encouraging and will I am sure help to ensure engagement with
 
and a greater understanding of our community in many years to come, further enhancing our vitality”

Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman said: “It was great to see councillors from across the region, including those with relatively few numbers of Jews in their boroughs, engaging with issues that concern the Jewish community. We discussed topics from antisemitism to Holocaust commemoration. Events like this are critical to ensure the Jewish voice can be heard by decision-makers across the country.”
 
Miki Vyse, External Affairs Manager for the Jewish Leadership Council said: “It is always a pleasure to see so many local councillors invested in hearing from the Jewish community about our community locally, as well as on antisemitism and Israel. The JLC works across the country through our regional managers to amplify and magnify the collective work of JLC members and the wider community. Relationships with local politicians and councillors are vital in making sure our voice is heard especially in tough times like today.”

You can watch Steve Reed's video here.
 
Board of Deputies President writes to Mayor of Hackney urging him to avoid ‘chaos’ on Stamford Hill roads
The President of the Board of Deputies, Marie van der Zyl, has written to the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, urging a reconsideration of current plans around road closures during parts of the school day in Stamford Hill.

Whilst expressing sympathy with the aims of the scheme, such as creating safer streets for local schoolchildren and improving the air quality of the local area, the Board of Deputies President warned of likely negative impacts on equality for older and disabled residents, access for Hatzola emergency vehicles, school transport for local residents and access to places of worship for elderly and disabled members of the community, among other issues.

She expressed particular concern at the speed with which proposals are being introduced, without due consideration being given to viable alternatives that might achieve the desired outcomes whilst mitigating some of the likely impacts.

Marie van der Zyl described suggestions from local officials that the scheme be imposed and then impacts considered after that as a ‘recipe for chaos’, and urged the Council to engage in proper consultation before the proposals go live. She also called for a public meeting so that Mr Glanville could hear and act on the concerns of residents directly.

You can read the letter here.
 
The Jewish community is experiencing an increased amount of online abuse, particularly via social media platforms. Join us online for an online panel discussion at Conservative Party Conference to explore these issues, with Victoria Atkins MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Safeguarding and Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee. It will be chaired by Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron, with a welcome from President Marie van der Zyl. More details of how to join here
 
This week, Hidden Treasures featured a treasure from the Jewish Chronicle’s archive. This photo is of the world’s first floating synagogue, the ‘Scroll Room’ on Cunard’s luxury Queen Mary which sailed between Southampton and New York from the late 1930s. Treasures from other synagogue archives will be uncovered at Hidden Treasures next on-line event on Sunday 18 October at 6pm. For more details, click here or contact Archives and Heritage Manager Dawn Waterman at dawn.waterman@bod.org.uk.
 
 
 
ACTIVITY REPORT
 
 
INTERNATIONAL
Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb, Chief Executive Gillian Merron and International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby had a virtual meeting with the James Cleverly MP, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, to discuss the UK’s role in a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Middle East after the Abraham Accords breakthrough. Other topics discussed included fair treatment of Israel in international bodies.

President Marie van der Zyl and International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby attended the virtual combined meeting of the World Jewish Restitution Organisation Council and Executive Committee, to discuss the priorities and progress of Holocaust restitution throughout the world. 
POLITICAL
The Board of Deputies, together with Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, held a fringe event at Liberal Democrat Party Conference featuring Sir Ed Davey, the Party's leader. The event included discussion of Israel, Online Harms and a stronger political vetting process to root out antisemites. More than 1,400 people tuned in online. You can watch the video here.
ANTISEMITISM
Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman joined professional colleagues from across the community for a meeting with Jo Stevens MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport and Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Digital Minister, to input about online antisemitism into Labour’s digital policy consultation.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS
Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg, Interfaith and Social Action Manager Anthony Silkoff and Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger held the first-ever bilateral meeting with the UK Somali community to talk about opportunities for joint work on common challenges and interests. We tweeted about the meeting here.  
MEDICAL
Board of Deputies Medical Adviser Professor David Katz and Government, Regional and Religious Affairs Officer Daniel Elton met National Medical Examiner Dr Alan Fletcher to discuss faith-sensitive medical examiner services.
INTERFAITH
President Marie van der Zyl and Interfaith and Social Action Manager Anthony Silkoff attended the AGM of the Inter Faith Network.
EDUCATION
Senior Vice President Sheila Gewolb attended an executive meeting of the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (NASACRE) which provides information and support for teachers of RE throughout England and Wales. 

Vice President Edwin Shuker, Chief Executive Gillian Merron and Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger met Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green to discuss key issues of importance to the Jewish community in education, including schools of a religious character and religious education.
COMMUNITY

Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan and Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles hosted the inaugural Deputies Coffee Morning, with 40 Deputies attending from all over the country. During this time of social distancing, the Board of Deputies will continue to host online events to enable Deputies to connect socially. 

CORONAVIRUS
Government, Regional and Religious Affairs Officer Daniel Elton arranged roundtables for Jewish synagogal bodies with Public Health England Director Jonathan Simpson, to provide clarification on Covid-security guidance for worship.
 
 
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