Board of Deputies

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.


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.


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.


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.”


Board challenge on terror

By Leon Symons, June 6, 2008

Three members of a Jewish human-rights organisation have accused the Board of Deputies of misusing its claim to speak for the Jewish community.

Richard Kuper, newly elected chair of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and two colleagues, Professor Irene Bruegel and Murray Glickman, have complained about a submission to the Home Office last August by the Board and the Community Security Trust on the Counter Terrorism Bill 2007.


Charedi numbers ‘much higher than Board says’

By Simon Rocker, June 6, 2008

A new report has sparked fresh debate on the size of Britain’s rapidly growing strictly Orthodox population.

The UK Charedi population numbers between 22,800 and 36,400 and has been growing at a rate of four per cent annually since the early 1990s, according to a study published this week by the Board of Deputies’ community policy research group.

But Charedi sources maintain that even the higher figure is an underestimate and that the total is above 40,000.


What baby boom? Board disputes birth statistics for UK Jews

By Leon Symons, May 23, 2008

A claim by a University of Manchester researcher that Britain’s Jewish population is growing for the first time since the Second World War has been questioned by the Board of Deputies.

Yaakov Wise, of the University’s Jewish-studies department, claimed that the population was 275,000 in 2005, but had increased to 280,000 by 2008. He said the main factor was the steady increase in births in the strictly Orthodox community.