The JC Power 100: Numbers 81 - 90

September 5, 2008
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Jessica Truman and Adam Pike 81 (69)

With ongoing problems for Jewish students on campus from Muslim and left-wing elements, much rests on the outgoing and incoming UJS chairs. Nearing the end of her chairmanship, Jessica Truman took satisfaction in a positive NUS conference in Jewish student terms. Her successor harnessed the power of the new media in a productive “Vote Pikey” election campaign on Facebook and YouTube. His youth-movement experience takes in RSY and FZY.

Alex Strom 82 (New)

A mover and shaker within the Charedi community. The Golders Green businessman and Jewish Tribune columnist is the driving force behind the youth summer camps for the strictly Orthodox, which have been running for over 30 years. The camps today cater for 250 youngsters, many from disadvantaged backgrounds. His voluntary work extends to independent marriage counselling.

Rabbi Naftali Brawer 83 (New)

Hailed as the “Barack Obama of Anglo-Jewry” by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Brawer is a rising star of the Orthodox world. He is enjoying a larger congregational audience following his move from Northwood Synagogue to Elstree and Borehamwood. Described by the Chief as “the most laid-back, non-judgemental rabbi” he knew, the Boston-born, Montreal-raised minister endeavours to combine Torah learning with openness to “the wisdom of the wider world”. He is a member of the Chief Rabbi’s cabinet with responsibility for Jewish-Muslim relations and a regular JC contributor.

Alan Howard 84 (85)

The hedge-fund specialist continues to support Israel and other Jewish causes through a range of charitable means. Among his interests are Holocaust education, the homeless and Israeli film — the Alan Howard Charitable Foundation is among the sponsors of the UK Jewish Film Festival. The Hasmonean old boy is not from a strictly Orthodox background, but his Jewish ethos has been informed by friendships with rabbis. He is the founder of the £10bn London hedge fund Brevan Howard, whose interests include emerging markets, reinsurance, water and healthcare.

Louise Ellman 85 (67)

Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside since 1997, the 62-year-old is probably Israel’s staunchest supporter in an often hostile Commons. She came to Westminster after leading Lancashire County Council. Her varied responsibilities include sitting on the Transport Select Committee, a vice-presidency of the Local Government Association, and board membership of Merseyside arts and cultural organisations. She also chairs the Jewish Labour Movement, the successor organisation to Poale Zion, and is a Labour Friends of Israel vice-chair.

Rabbi Joey Grunfeld 86 (New)

Born in London and ordained in Gateshead, Rabbi Grunfeld is an adult-education pioneer as the founder, in 1980, and executive director of Project Seed. It runs around 50 weekly centres attended by over 2,000 adults, as well as weekend seminars and counselling services. It also led the way in the organisation of weekend educational retreats. Its schemes include One to One, offering students a learning programme tailored to their needs.

Jon Benjamin 87 (New)

Although some consider the Board of Deputies a diminished force these days, its director-general has the ear of many in government. A solicitor by profession, Jon Benjamin came to the Board after five years as chief executive of British ORT. Much younger, at 43, than his predecessor Neville Nagler, he is readily accessible and has brought a modernising hand to the Board’s workings which has been appreciated within and outside the organisation.

Stuart Polak 88 (79)

Conservative Friends of Israel director since 1989, Stuart Polak oversees all aspects of CFI’s strategy, maintaining regular contact with Conservative leaders, whom he briefs on Israeli issues. An effective behind-the-scenes lobbyist, he was a key mover behind Borehamwood’s Yavneh College, which opened in 2006. With his colours tied to David Cameron’s mast, a Tory election victory would increase his influence.

Trudy Gold 89 (New)

Chief executive and a major player in the development of the London Jewish Cultural Centre, which offers a diversity of educational and cultural activities from its state-of-the-art base at Ivy House, Golders Green. Over 1,300 people pass through its doors each week for day and evening courses, events for young professionals and to hear speakers from the arts and other spheres. An energetic presence, she constantly asks: “How can we do this?” Expert in Jewish history, she is editor-in-chief of the teaching resource pack Lessons of the Holocaust.

Daniel Dover 90 (New)

A tax specialist with accountants BDO Stoy Hayward, Daniel Dover is a respected and well-connected worker for causes across the Jewish spectrum. A forthright personality with a wicked sense of humour, he advises charities on financial issues and helps organisations such as Charedi schools in negotiations with the taxman. Although he likes to keep a low profile, he is a regular at fundraising dinners and a frequent visitor to Israel. Author of War or Peace: Skirmishes with the Inland Revenue.

    Last updated: 4:23pm, September 17 2008