Board of Deputies

Board may seek law change over JFS row

By Leon Symons and Simon Rocker, July 23, 2009

The Board of Deputies has launched a two-pronged strategy in the wake of the Court of Appeal’s decision that the admissions policy operated by the JFS school broke the Race Relations Act.

Deputies at Sunday’s plenary meeting in central London were told that if JFS sought leave to appeal to the House of Lords or the Supreme Court, which may take over responsibility for such matters, the Board would intervene as a “friend of the court” to give it guidance on “who is a Jew”.

The school has now decided to take such action.


Board of Deputies: Islam centre arson ‘disgusting’

May 21, 2009

The Board of Deputies has written to leaders of an Islamic centre gutted by fire in a suspected arson attack to express “solidarity and disgust”.

The Islamic Education Centre in Luton was targeted in the early hours of May 5. No one was hurt in the blaze.

It is thought the fire could have been started by far-right activists in revenge for the picketing of troops by Muslim extremists in the town in March.


Voting over, now the work begins

May 21, 2009

When Vivian Wineman, incoming president of the Board of Deputies, was asked along the campaign trail about his plans over the next three years, he replied that he was “afraid it ias going to be dominated by an agenda which is not of our own choosing”.

With the looming threat of a nuclear Iran and King Abdullah of Jordan warning darkly only last week of another Arab-Israeli war in 18 months, no president can predict the impact of events in the Middle East on UK Jews.


Peace activist Wineman snatches Board presidency in close-run poll

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2009

A former chairman of British Friends of Peace Now has been elected president of the Board of Deputies for the next three years.

Vivian Wineman, 59, the Board’s senior vice-president, emerged victorious from a record four candidates to succeed Henry Grunwald, who retires at the end of month after a maximum six years in office.


New think-tank for Institute for Jewish Policy Research

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2009

The Institute for Jewish Policy Research has announced a change of direction with a key new appointment.

David Graham, who has worked on demographic surveys for the Board of Deputies, will be the new director of social and demographic research. He will be supported by a new advisory board, chaired by Professor Steve Miller, an expert on research into Jewish communities.

The changes mark a return to a more local agenda for the think-tank, which, under its former executive director Tony Lerman, who stepped down last year, had shifted its focus from domestic social research to Europe.


HSA enrages Jewish community with unpaid health claims

By James Martin, May 21, 2009

Hundreds of Jewish families claim they have been left out of pocket because a leading health insurer has failed to pay out for their treatment.

They are backed by angry dentists, opticians and chiropodists who say insurer HSA has failed even to respond to applications they made on behalf of the patients.

Many of the patients are from large strictly Orthodox families in Stamford Hill, north London. They are furious at the lack of response.


Wineman is new Deputies' president

By Simon Rocker, May 18, 2009

Vivian Wineman, a commercial lawyer, was elected president of the Board of Deputies on Sunday. He will hold the position for the next three years.

In the most hotly-contested election since the Board’s creation in 1760, with a record four candidates, he succeeds barrister Henry Grunwald, who steps down at the end of the month.

Mr Wineman, 59. a member of Hampstead Garden Suburb United Synagogue and the Board’s current senior vice-president, beat the former president of the United Synagogue, Peter Sheldon , by 131 votes to 64 in the third round of the ballot.


Blears praises shuls for interfaith work

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

More than three-quarters of mainstream synagogues do some kind of interfaith work, according to a survey to be published next week by the Board of Deputies.

The results “show what some may think of as a surprising degree of engagement in interfaith activity by the broad swathe of our community,” said Board chief executive Jon Benjamin. “But this confirms what many of us already know — that the Jewish community is keen to play its part in wider society and to share its experience of successfully integrating into British society.”


Lieberman welcome to visit, say Deputies

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

Israel’s controversial Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would be welcome at the Board of Deputies, the four contenders for its presidency agreed this week.

The electoral success of his nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party in February provoked disquiet among UK Jews, with several prominent rabbis condemning his attitude towards Arabs.


The Treasurer

May 7, 2009

A former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate who believes that the Board of Deputies should be free to criticise Israel is to be its treasurer for the next three years.

Laurence Brass, a tribunal judge who has represented Bushey United at the Board for 35 years, was elected unopposed last Friday.