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BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS ADVOCACY FOR THE COMMUNITY  
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COMMUNITY BRIEFING
 
 
 
Board of Deputies welcomes 'long overdue' decision by Facebook to ban Holocaust denial
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has reacted positively to the news that Facebook has acted to ban Holocaust denial on its platform.

Marie said: “We welcome the news that Facebook is updating its hate speech policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust. This decision, long overdue, confirms that Facebook has finally accepted what we and other organisations have repeatedly made clear; that Holocaust Denial is not just a form of misinformation but is itself a form of hate speech, inextricably tied to the most vile antisemitism.
 
“We hope that Facebook will follow up on this encouraging decision by adopting the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, in recognition that online is the new frontline against Jew hate.”

Read the JC report here.
Marie van der Zyl grateful to Government following rethink on stone setting numbers
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has welcomed the Government’s decision to allow 15 people to attend stone settings after the number was originally set at six due to Coronavirus restrictions.
 
Marie said: “We welcome the Government’s decision to allow stone-settings to have up to 15 attendees. Since the seemingly anomalous decision to allow only six people to attend stone settings, while up to 15 people were allowed to attend funerals, we have asked Government for a consistent approach that will allow a Minyan and additional close friends and family to attend stone-settings and give comfort to mourners. We are grateful to the Government for its compassion in heeding this advice. Nonetheless, this thoughtful concession should give no room for complacency. With the alarming rise in the infection rate, we urge the community to be meticulous in observing social distancing regulations at cemeteries as in all other spaces.”
 
Pikuach Director Jeffrey Leader awarded MBE for services to education

Pikuach Director Jeffrey Leader has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his work in education, including Pikuach, the Board of Deputies' Jewish schools inspection service.

Jeffrey said: “I’m surprised, humbled and honoured to receive this award. I have an overriding passion for the community and the education of its children. So to receive this award is the honey on the honey-cake.”

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “This is wonderful news and a fitting tribute to Jeffrey whose work at Pikuach has created an inspection service which is widely admired and ensures religious education teaching at Jewish schools is rigorously tested. We are very proud of his achievements.”

Read the Jewish News report here, the JC story here and the Jewish Weekly article here.
 
This week, Hidden Treasures shared this image of the late Sir Nicholas Winton’s address book from the 1930s and 1940s. You will see that it is open to the letter ‘B’ and lists Martin Blake and Aneurin Bevan. Sir Nicholas Winton was instrumental in organising the Kindertransport in Czechoslovakia and we are delighted to welcome his personal archive to Hidden Treasures. Join us on Sunday 18 October at 6pm at for our next event examining treasures from Britain’s synagogues. Details are here
 
 
 
ACTIVITY REPORT
 
 
COMMUNITY
The Board of Deputies organised a Mental Health Awareness Seminar for Deputies in conjunction with JAMI. President Marie van der Zyl opened the seminar which was led by JAMI’s Education and Training Resource Manager, Philippa Carr. The event was attended by nearly 40 Deputies. It was co-hosted by Director of Operations Judy Silkoff and Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles.

Senior Vice President Sheila GewolbVice President Amanda Bowman and Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan attended the Regional Deputies Assembly. The event was chaired by Paul Edlin.    

Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan attended the FaithAction Places of Worship Guidance: Jewish Focus Group.
ANTISEMITISM
President Marie van der Zyl, Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman were briefed by members of Facebook’s public policy team in advance of the company’s announcement that it would finally be banning Holocaust denial on the platform (see story above).
CORONAVIRUS
Vice President Edwin Shuker, Government, Regional and Religious Affairs Officer Daniel Elton and Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles attended a London Jewish Forum meeting with representatives from the Jewish Communities' in Barnet to hear from the Leader of Barnet Council Cllr Dan Thomas and Director of Public Health Dr Tamara Djvretic to discuss the impact and recovery from Covid in the community.
INTERFAITH
Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Interfaith and Social Action Manager Anthony Silkoff caught up with colleagues at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales about shared objectives around international religious freedom.
MEDICAL
Government, Regional and Religious Affairs Officer Daniel Elton delivered a presentation on the new system of organ donation at a joint Sinai Synagogue and Board of Deputies event followed by a Q and A session. 
INTERNATIONAL
 Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg spoke to Argentina’s Radio Jai (in Spanish) about antisemitism and the impact of Coronavirus on the UK Jewish community. Listen here.
LAW
Chair of the Family Law Group, Eleanor Platt QC, Group Member Sarah Anticoni and Government, Regional and Religious Affairs Officer Daniel Elton held talks with the Law Commission to discuss its weddings law reform consultation.
 
 
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