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BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS ADVOCACY FOR THE COMMUNITY  
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COMMUNITY BRIEFING
 
 
 
Marie van der Zyl promises to support Genocide Amendment on its return to the Commons following Board of Deputies event
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has reacted to the lack of opportunity for MPs to vote on the Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill on Tuesday.

She said: “While we were disappointed that MPs did not get a chance to vote on the amendment this week, it now goes back to the House of Lords. We expect it to return to the House of Commons in due course, and we will once again give it our vocal support.”

“We are determined to continue to support the Uyghur people against the genocide which is currently being perpetrated and give them their day in court. We hope that we can move forward and work with the Government and MPs of all parties to do whatever we can to ensure that the terrible situation in Xinjiang is not allowed to continue.”

This follows an event held by the Board of Deputies on Monday at which MPs were urged to “put aside politics” and unite to back the Genocide Amendment when it returns to the House of
 
Commons, having been asked “If not now, when?”

Representatives of the Uyghur people, alongside a Holocaust survivor, Parliamentarians and others, came together at a Board of Deputies event this afternoon to call on MPs of all political parties to support the amendment, which would allow the UK High Court to make a preliminary determination regarding whether a State is carrying out a genocide. Millions of Uyghurs are currently incarcerated in concentration camps in Xinjiang province, China. Many have been forced into slave labour, while women are being sterilised and hundreds of thousands of children have been forcibly separated from their parents.

You can see a full report of the event here and watch a recording here.

Photo: Nury Turkel, a Uyghur-American who represents the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, speaks at the Board of Deputies' event on Monday
 
This week Hidden Treasures - celebrating Jewish archives in Britain - shared this photograph of ladies’ hairdresser Leonard Solomons who trained in Willesden Green at Louis Xavier. Later, he opened the Leonard and Allen salon in Hampstead Garden Suburb and the Leonard and Alan Plus One salon in Belsize Park. Here he is cutting his disabled mother’s hair at home in Neasden around 1962 when he was in his early twenties. See more about the Hidden Treasure project here
 
Condemnation for decision to invite Ken Loach to speak at St Peter’s College, Oxford
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has written to Professor Judith Buchanan, Master of St Peter’s College, Oxford, describing the decision to invite him to speak at the college ‘entirely unacceptable’ and calling for the event to be cancelled.

Marie said: “That an Oxford college would not conduct its due diligence and allow Ken Loach to address students is entirely unacceptable. Higher education institutions have a duty of care to their students, which must include a zero tolerance policy to antisemitism and those who minimise or deny it. We have been in touch with Jewish students in Oxford and wholeheartedly support their condemnation of the event. This event should not take place.”

Oxford Jewish Society President Samuel Benjamin said: “It is deeply disappointing that Ken Loach is due to speak at St Peter’s College this evening. Professor Buchanan, though she may have been unaware of Loach’s antisemitic remarks when she extended the invitation, has decided not to cancel the event in spite of being informed of his views over the weekend. This has come at the expense of the welfare of Jewish students in Oxford, especially those at St Peter’s College. As a Jewish Society we will not shy away from our duty to protect the interests of Jews on campus.”

Last year, the Board of Deputies wrote to charity Show Racism The Red Card, strongly criticising the decision to select Mr Loach to be a judge for an anti-racism competition. You can find this letter here.
 
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Amy Goodman


Amy Goodman is Development Officer - and was Director last year - for Sanitree, a social enterprise operating in India which tackles period poverty by employing women from vulnerable backgrounds to sew and sell reusable menstrual pads. Amy, a member of West London Reform Synagogue, led an expansion to Jaipur, partnering with a local NGO and creating a workshop employing 22 women. The workshop not only gives the women a source of income, but it offers skills-based training and personal development activities to engage the wider community.

Read the full article here
 
 
 
ACTIVITY REPORT
 
 
COMMUNITY
Chief Executive Gillian Merron chaired a 'BoDCast' entitled 'Tiers, Fears and Vaccine Engineers'. The panel featured Dr Charlotte Benjamin, Clinical Lead for Covid Vaccine for North Central London, Professor David Katz, Executive Chair of the Jewish Medical Association, and the Board of Deputies Medical Advisor, Dr Daniel Staetsky, the Director of the European Jewish Demography Unit at the Jewish Policy Research and Moishe Sinitsky from the Manchester Jewish Burial Society, Chevra Kadisha. You can watch a recording of the event here.

President Marie van der Zyl delivered a presentation at Manchester Day Limmud.

Chief Executive Gillian Merron spoke on the subject of Progressive Judaism and the Board of Deputies at a Zoom event with Finchley Progressive Synagogue

Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles presented to the Liberal Judaism Community Briefing forum, facilitated by Chief Executive Rabbi Charley Baginsky and joined by the Chairs of the Liberal Jewish communities. 
 
International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby, Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles and Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan met Georgia Boroda, the Community Engagement Officer at the Israeli Embassy to discuss future areas of collaboration.

Director of Operations Judy Silkoff and Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles met Hazel Kaye, the Director of Transformation of Norwood  to discuss future areas of collaboration.
 
Director of Operations Judy Silkoff and Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles met Hadassa Kessler, the Director of Operations and Development and Sarah-Jayne Grahame, the Philanthropy and Volunteering Manager of Kisharon to discuss future areas of collaboration.

Director of Operations Judy Silkoff, Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan, Community Engagement Officer Lauren Keiles and Archives and Heritage Manager Dawn Waterman hosted a Deputies Coffee Break. More than 30 Deputies from all over the country attended. 
 
The Sussex Jewish Representative Council chair team consisting of Beryl Sharpe (President), Debra Goodman, Jessica Rosenthal and Sarah Wilks delivered a bitesize training session to the Board of Deputies’ professional staff about the work the Representative Council undertakes. The training session also helps to strengthen the working relationship between the two organisations.
POLITICAL
Vice President Amanda Bowman and Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg attended a meeting with Paul Scully MP, Minister for London and MP for Sutton and Cheam. Amanda raised the Government’s online harms bill and Phil spoke about the campaign for justice for the Uyghurs.

Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman, along with Marc Levy of the Jewish Leadership Council, met Chris Clarkson MP to discuss a proposed amendment (the “Genocide Amendment”) to a Trade Bill which was due to appear before the House of Commons.

Public Affairs Officer Daniel Sugarman and Regional Coronavirus Advice Capacity Help (Co-Ach) Manager Sara Radivan, alongside Laura Gold (Chair, Hull Jewish Representative Council), Phil Daniels (Chair, Hull Hebrew Congregation), Avril Sugarman (Vice Chair, Hull Hebrew Congregation), Deborah Wrapson (Board of Deputies Observer, Hull Jewish Representative Council) and Michael Westerman (Hull Jewish Representative Council) met Dame Diana Johnson MP (Kingston upon Hull North), to discuss issues including antisemitism, shechitah and opposition to the BDS movement.
INTERNATIONAL
Senior Vice-President Sheila Gewolb and International Relations Officer Talia Ingleby attended the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO) Combined Meeting of the WJRO Council and Executive Committee where they received updates on the Holocaust restitution throughout Europe and reported on the Board of Deputies advocacy in this area. 

Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg spoke to Argentinian Radio Jai about the current state of antisemitism in the UK and the situation with the coronavirus.
ARCHIVES AND HERITAGE
Archives and Heritage Manager Dawn Waterman met Adam Corsini of the Jewish Museum for an update on current projects.
ECOSYNAGOGUE
EcoSynagogue is launching its Envronmental Audit, introduced by journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Freedland on Monday 15 February at 8pm. Ahead of the launch, President Marie van der Zyl said: "The Board of Deputies and EcoSynagogue have worked together to create a pathway for our synagogues to improve our relationships with the world around us. Please join and start your journey." It will be broadcast on the Board of Deputies Facebook page and YouTube channel. For details email andrea.passe@bod.org.uk 
EDUCATION
Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger attended a meeting of the Department for Education’s Faith School Providers Group. Education Consultant Sandra Teacher also attended.
INTERFAITH
Interfaith and Social Action Manager Anthony Silkoff and Education Policy and Youth Engagement Officer Jake Berger met Rev. Jan Nowotnik, Director of Mission and National Ecumenical Officer at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, to discuss Catholic-Jewish relations.
 
 
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