London community launches manifesto

By Leon Symons, July 9, 2009
Tessa Jowell addressing the manifesto launch

Tessa Jowell addressing the manifesto launch

The aspirations and concerns of London Jewry have been collated and published in one document for the first time.

Minister for London Tessa Jowell welcomed the publication of the Towards A London Jewish Manifesto at a breakfast for the capital’s Parliamentarians on Wednesday. Although produced under the banner of the London Jewish Forum, more than 20 communal organisations have contributed to it.

“While recognising and celebrating difference, we must never forget the shared interests and values which unite all of us who call London our home,” Ms Jowell said. “So we need to understand the importance of every community, but recognise that they all fit into a London that is bigger than the sum of its parts.

“That is why the tone of your manifesto is so heartening — it speaks to the concerns of the Jewish community but does so in a way that seeks to make life in London better for all. ‘Jewish values,’ you say, ‘suggest that we must promote the welfare of the entire city.’”

The manifesto covers housing, welfare, youth provision, culture and heritage, community safety and the 2012 Olympics.

Ms Jowell and fellow speakers Stephen Hammond, the Shadow Transport Minister, and Tom Brake, the Lib-Dem spokesman for London, all referred to the rise in antisemitism, giving commitments to continue to fight racism and hate crime.

They also praised LJF for being the first organisation to produce a manifesto ahead of the next general election.

LJF chair Adrian Cohen said: “This initiative is the beginning of a process of promoting a platform for London Jewry. It is the first time we have stated our overall needs and concerns and we will be looking to engage local MPs, the Mayoralty, the Greater London Assembly and local councils on how to take this forward. We are proud of our community’s achievements and feel the Towards A London Jewish Manifesto reflects this while setting out for the first time London Jewry’s concerns and needs.”

Last updated: 6:28pm, July 9 2009