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Board of Deputies
Community Briefing

Use the online tool to get election candidates to sign up to the Jewish Manifesto

Ahead of the General Election, the Board is encouraging everyone in the Jewish community to call upon MPs and prospective Parliamentary candidates to support its Jewish Manifesto and the 10 Commitments it has highlighted. To enable this to happen quickly and easily an online tool is now available for members of the public to contact their candidates.

The online tool, provided in partnership with We Believe in Israel, allows members of the public to write to all their candidates with just a few clicks. They will be able to ask their local candidates to pledge their support to the Manifesto's Ten Commitments and demonstrate their support for them on their social media platforms with the hashtag #TenCommitments @BoardofDeputies.

This is with the aim of ensuring that candidates are aware of all the community's policy positions, from antisemitism to social action, from Israel to education and religious freedom to restitution.

The Jewish Manifesto was produced following a consultation with 360 institutions across the Jewish community.

Contact your MP using this link and read the Jewish Manifesto here.

Left to right: Julie Siddiqi, Baroness Ruth Lister, Louise Ellman MP and Bharti Tailor speak at the Board's Forum on Poverty and Diversity (see story below)

Expert tells forum that women suffer more discrimination

The Board of Deputies Women's and Social Action groups presented a thought-provoking event, Poverty and Diversity, at the House of Commons this week.

The capacity audience included Deputies, leaders of Jewish communal organisations and representatives of others faiths including a representative of the National Board of Catholic Women Poverty Project. The forum was chaired by Louise Ellman MP and the speakers were social policy expert Baroness Lister, Julie Siddiqi, consultant and activist on Women's issues and former CEO of the Islamic Society of Britain and Bharti Tailor, executive director of the Hindu Forum of Europe

Baroness Lister, Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University, presented evidence that women are still at greater risk of economic hardship than men and have heightened experience of poverty and discrimination. She said: "Historically women have acted as the 'shock absorbers' for poverty  and it is predominantly women who have to balance and manage that hardship, drawing on personal resilience and skill to overcome it."

Bharti Tailor approached the subject through reflection on the many different kinds of poverty, not just financial. Poverty can mean not hearing the voice of the community, being isolated with no access to your own money, friends or help.

Julie Siddiqi emphasised the need to put our faith into action: she pointed out that giving money for relief projects abroad is very important but giving money and time at home is equally important. She urged faith communities to work closer together.

The debate that ensued included questions about a woman's right to work, poverty in relation to the culture we live in and the marginalisation of those who depend on the welfare state.


Board team meet diplomats at the Washington Embassy

Vice president Alex Brummer and chief executive Gillian Merron met diplomats at the British Embassy in Washington DC during their visit to the Aipac conference.

Concern was expressed about reports in the US media suggesting that antisemitism in Britain was on the rise and that some members of the Jewish community were considering resettling in Israel.

There were concerns that if such reports were true it could have an impact on British-US trade relations, with American firms showing a reluctance to expand investment in the UK

The Board team pointed out that there had been increased fears about antisemitism since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer and this had been heightened by recent attacks on Jews in Paris and Copenhagen. But the belief was that the methodology of the widely circulated Campaign Against Anti-Semitism poll was flawed and had exaggerated the degree of fear.

The UK community was fortunate in that the government and authorities understood the risks and were doing everything in their power to to address security worries. A distorted view currently prevails among many Americans that the British community is somehow under siege.

The Board team assured the diplomats that most Jews were going about their daily business unhindered and that Jews continue to play a huge and respected role in British public life in politics, the media, the arts and business without any notable prejudice.

See a photo taken at the meeting here.

While at the the Aipac conference, Gillian Merron also met Malcolm L. Honlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organisations. Photo here.


Board Activity


Deputy Herschel Krustofski has announced his intention to stand for the post of president of the Board in the May elections. Mr Krustofski, the Deputy for Chigley and District Hebrew Congregation, was born in the United States and grew up in the small but respected Springfield congregation led his father, Hyman Krustofski Z"L. Mr Krustofski, who enjoyed a successful career in the US entertainment business in the 1990s, has since made his home in the UK with his wife Esther. He said: "I hope to bring an element of showbiz glamour to Board affairs. I trust my American upbringing won't be held against me." Returning officer Mordechai Shpela reminds Deputies that nominations for president close on May 1. For a photo of Mr Krustofski click here


Grassroots consultant Steven Jaffe attended the launch of the Shalom Declaration in Leeds. The declaration expressed appreciation of Israel "as the only country in the Middle East which extends freedom of worship to all its citizens and where the Christian community is growing. It also called upon religious leaders and elected representatives in the UK to work tirelessly to combat antisemitism and extremism around the world and to strengthen co-operation between the UK and Israel.

Vivian Wineman represented the Board at an event for Shalva - a charity for children with disabilities in Israel. He also attended a Jewish Child's Day event.

David Walsh met Sue Breeze at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


Dying to Vote, an International Women's Day Meeting, will be looking at women's global emancipation with speakers Philippa Vose, Professor June Purvis and Lone Theils. It will be held on Monday March 9 at 10.30am. Details and tickets on 020 7242 8300.




Vivian Wineman attended the annual United Synagogue Chevra Kadisha.

David Walsh and PR and communications officer Simon Round met Lyn Julius and Michelle Huberman of Harif, the association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. The organisation is conducting a UK Sephardi Research Project for Jews from all backgrounds. To participate in the survey, click here.


Remember Together We Are One - a Yom Hashoah UK event to commemorate the Holocaust - will be held on Sunday April 19 at Barnet Copthall Stadium at 2pm. The aim is to bring together the Jewish community to remember the loss of the six million and to pay tribute to the survivors and refugees for the remarkable contributions they have made. Some 5,000 covered seats will be available on the day and admission is free. For details, click here.


CBeebies screened a special programme, Let's Celebrate Purim, to explain the festival to non-Jewish children.


Board president Vivian Wineman spoke at a Jewish Book Week discussion about Pope Francis and his relationship with the Jews.

Public affairs director Phil Rosenberg and International Affairs officer David Walsh met representatives of Aid to the Church in Need.


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