Board of Deputies

Jewish groups criticise Swiss minaret ban

By Jessica Elgot, December 2, 2009

Jewish groups have criticised the result of the Swiss referendum in favour of banning the building of minarets on mosques.

The referendum, called by the far-right Swiss People’s Party, has been criticised by the United Nations, the Swiss government, most Swiss newspapers, the Swiss church and the Vatican.

But it was supported by 57 per cent of Swiss voters, with 20 per cent more voters turning out than expected.

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Board bid to engage Israeli-Arabs

By Simon Rocker, November 26, 2009

The Board of Deputies and the UJIA have joined a new task force to promote greater interest in Israel’s Arab citizens.

Other founding members of the group are the Pears Foundation, the Zionist Federation, the New Israel Fund and the Abraham Fund Initiatives UK.

Trevor Pears, executive chairman of the Pears Foundation and co-chair of the group with Douglas Krikler, UJIA chief executive, explained: “Our foundation has focused on this issue since the symposium we hosted on the subject in 2007. Since then, interest has grown culminating in the UK Taskforce.”

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Interfaith women meet Board of Deputies

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2009

Women from six faith communities have met at the Board of Deputies to discuss the challenges they face in modern Britain.

Bharti Tailor, the first woman secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain and Cassandra Balchin, chair of the Muslim Women’s Network, were among the 50 guests, also including former Board vice-president Rosalind Preston.

Coinciding with Interfaith Week, the impetus for the event was the review paper on the role of women in the Jewish community: Connection, Continuity and Community — British Jewish Women Speak Out.

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Gordon Brown's bid to fix rift with UK Jews

By Martin Bright and Simon Rocker, November 12, 2009

The government is to launch a charm offensive to rebuild the trust of the Jewish community in response to the anger unleashed by the Goldstone Report on Gaza.

Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis met senior representatives of the community on Tuesday to reassure them about last week’s decision to abstain in the UN General Assembly on a resolution endorsing the findings of the controversial report. Judge Richard Goldstone found that Israel and Hamas should be investigated for war crimes during the conflict.

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Board fights 'racism' label in JFS hearing

By Simon Rocker, November 5, 2009

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on the JFS admissions dispute before the end of the year.

In the court’s most high-profile case since it opened last month, nine judges will decide whether Jewish schools can allocate places according to whether a child’s parent is Jewish.

JFS has contested a Court of Appeal decision made on behalf of a boy who had originally been rejected because the Chief Rabbi does not recognise his mother’s non-Orthodox conversion.

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Jewish community attacks government on Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, November 5, 2009

The UK Jewish community has explicitly criticised Britain’s position on the Goldstone Report, in an unprecedented move.

In a joint statement issued by the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies, British Jews expressed their dismay over the lack of action by the British government regarding the report, which is being debated at the UN General Assembly today.

Their statement demanded nothing less than a ‘No’ vote by Britain at the UN, calling the report “a sustained political attack upon Israel”.

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Board plots 'buycott' to beat the boycott

By Leon Symons, October 29, 2009

It is the buycott versus the boycott — and it starts a week today.

The “buycott” is a call to Jews all over the country to buy as many Israeli products as they can.

The initiative has come from the Board of Deputies and the anti-boycott Fair Play Campaign to thwart a planned anti-Israel boycott against two major supermarket chains by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

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Board packs a (puny) punch

By Geoffrey Alderman, October 22, 2009

There’s nothing like a good row to clear the air — and I welcome the revelations of recent discord between the Board of Deputies and other communal interests.

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Board blasts Israel’s 'maverick' defender

By Marcus Dysch and Simon Rocker, October 15, 2009

Board of Deputies vice-president Jerry Lewis has launched a stinging attack on fellow Board member Jonathan Hoffman over his tactics when defending Israel in public.

Mr Hoffman, who is also vice-chair of the Zionist Federation, has been criticised by War on Want and Amnesty for his vociferous attempts to challenge attacks on the Jewish state.

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Kaminski: Jewish leaders feud

By Simon Rocker, October 15, 2009

Anglo-Jewry’s leaders this week mounted a damage limitation exercise in an attempt to quell internal rows over the Board of Deputies’ political competence.

Several members of the Jewish Leadership Council were enraged to discover that the Board’s president, Vivian Wineman, had written to Conservative leader David Cameron in the middle of last week’s Tory conference raising queries over the party’s European allies.

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