Leeds impresses JLC chief

By John Fisher, April 11, 2014

Jewish leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson has praised the standard of communal leadership in Leeds during a two-day visit to the city.

Mr Johnson said he had encountered "a group of dedicated leaders and professionals who are not prepared to accept demographic decline. They have come up with innovative interventions to try and promote a vital, inclusive, interesting community."

Mr Johnson had been interested to see how Leeds focused activities around the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff community centre and the new youth campus on the Brodetsky school site. He was impressed by how the city's synagogues worked together. "What is really clear is that there's a great deal of cohesion. If I were a member of the community, I would be very pleased with the lay leaders, volunteers and professionals."

However, there were also concerns. Addressing a UJIA women's lunch, he said the community was "too dependent on too small a number of people to fund all of its institutions.

"In the long run, that situation is unsustainable because as those people get older we cannot count on that level of funding in the future."

The visit was facilitated by community development executive Susie Gordon, who said it had been "highly successful. There were common themes throughout the two days such as future funding and resources, but I feel our relationship with the JLC will only get stronger."

    Last updated: 11:07am, April 11 2014