Board of Deputies

Charedim fight new marriage visa rules

By Leon Symons, November 6, 2008

The government may face a challenge to a law that will raise the marriage visa age from 18 to 21.

Campaigners, led by Michoel Posen of Agudas Israel Community Services in Stamford Hill, have warned that the law will have a severe effect on many marriages in the Charedi community, involving young people from Israel, America and Canada.

European Union countries are not affected by the law, due to come into force on November 27.


Birth figures reveal strength of the family

By Simon Rocker, November 6, 2008

More British Jews are being born than are dying each year, according to the latest survey by the Board of Deputies published this week.

And the number of divorces sanctioned by Orthodox or Reform rabbinic authorities dropped to the lowest on record for nearly 20 years.

The number of Jewish deaths last year also dropped - below 3,000 for the first time since the Board began compiling records in the 1960s.


Reluctant mohels skew birth figures

By Simon Rocker, October 17, 2008

The Board of Deputies says it is being hampered in the collection of Jewish birth statistics because not all mohelim (circumcisers) are providing figures for brits performed each year.

The number of births is based on the annual circumcisions performed by mohelim registered with the respective Orthodox and Progressive societies.


Chief’s projects head is to lead volunteers

By Simon Rocker, July 25, 2008
Leonie Lewis, the Chief Rabbi's projects director, is leaving his office after a year-and-a-half to become the first chief executive of the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN).

The former head of the United Synagogue's Community Development Group - who was number 69 in this year's JC Power 100 - will also be undertaking consultancy work for the US and the London School of Jewish Studies.


Boris praises Jewish Londoners

By Leon Symons, July 18, 2008

Boris Johnson helped the Board of Deputies to attract a big turnout for its president’s dinner at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel last week.

The London Mayor entertained the 400 guests at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in stitches with a string of amusing anecdotes and asides.

He later paid tribute to the audience for helping him through his speech. “I had a very busy day and I was shattered when I arrived in the room. I had nothing to say but they made it so easy for me to talk about what I want to do.


Board attacks Tonge’s Israel lobby criticism

By Dana Gloger, July 11, 2008

The president of the Board of Deputies has written to the leader of the Lib Dems in the House of Lords to complain after the outspoken critic of Israel, Baroness Tonge, made comments about the Board in Parliament.

In his letter to Lord McNally, Henry Grunwald said that the Lib Dem peer had “allowed her criticism of Israel to overstep the mark” and had “gone too far” during a debate last Thursday on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


How far have women come?

By Simon Rocker, June 13, 2008
In 1994, a major review examined attitudes to women’s roles in the community. Its author says it is time for a new study

The head of a review into the role of women in the Jewish community is to take a fresh look at the subject to see what progress has been made — 14 years later.

Rosalind Preston, former vice-president of the Board of Deputies and ex-chairman of Nightingale, is putting together a team for a 2008 study.


Faith work adopted by Europe

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

A Jewish-inspired project to integrate faith and ethnic minorities through schools and youth programmes is to be adopted by the European Commission.

Representatives from all 27 EU member states participated in a two-day conference in Belfast last week, where they were briefed on the Shared Futures scheme, begun in Britain by the Board of Deputies and the Pears Foundation.


And now for the good news: Jews do live longer

By Alex Kasriel, June 13, 2008

It is something we have suspected for years. But now the JC can reveal: Jewish people do live longer than their non-Jewish counterparts.

Figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics suggest that there are nearly three times as many Jewish people who are 100 or older than there are in the general population. In the 2001 Census, twice the number of those in the Jewish community were 90 or more, compared to the rest of England and Wales.


Forum gains a chief exec

By Leon Symons, June 6, 2008

The London Jewish Forum has poached a senior Board of Deputies administrator to be its first paid official.

Alex Goldberg, currently director of the Board’s community-issues division, has been appointed as the first executive director of the LJF and will take up the post later in the year.

LJF chairman Adrian Cohen said: “This marks a major step in the development of the forum. Alex brings with him enormous relevant experience in areas of community development and social cohesion that will enable us to advance our work in London.”