It’s time that we turned our intentions into actions

A conference on March 28 will give you the tools to get involved in Jewish activism


Turning intentions into actions: Rally-goers at the No To Terror rally in London (Photo: Gaby Wine)

In my role as vice-chair of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), the last five months, as for us all, have been intense; a time filled with pain, anguish and challenge. I fear that these feelings are here to stay, at least for now. And yet, through this, I carry a sense of pride and hope which I like to think of as a silver lining during the darkness. Let me explain.

There is an extraordinary amount of invigorating, energising activism wherever I look. One powerful example of this was Shine the Light, an event organised by Daniel Turgel, Benjamin Peters and Joshua Kanter, which saw more than 300 Jewish professionals come together for an evening of solidarity and conversation at a time when people needed it most. I also look at the organised visits to Israel as means of support and bearing witness, and my ability to be part of a recent UJIA visit will remain a life-informing experience. Then there is 7/10 Human Chain, organisers of rallies and installations that have occurred over the last few months. There are many more examples of grassroots initiatives that have excelled in raising awareness and support for the community.

Throughout the events I have attended, a common theme continues to emerge: people want to help, be involved and give back. Our community is blessed to have a not-for-profit sector that spans welfare, education, security, Jewish life, culture and more. It is an ever-evolving, innovative space that is always looking to enhance its impact. This is where the people I’ve met and you, reading, come in. This is a time for our desires and our growing connections to deepen by going beyond conversation or thought. We need to harness intention into action. Our collective and individual energy and desire to play a part are vital components for the future of our communal organisations and grassroots initiatives.

That is why the JLC and Lead, in partnership with the Jewish Volunteering Network, are delighted to be hosting our Jewish Community Trustees’ Conference on 28 March in London (there will also be one in Manchester on 9 May).

Sponsored by the Bloom Foundation, this event is usually aimed at trustees, chairs, CEOs and synagogue board members, but we have now adapted the programme to support those looking to be involved in the sector, whether as a potential trustee, joining an advisory committee or expert group, or just as a curious observer, who wants to contribute but would welcome some guidance. This event aims to support you and showcase potential pathways.

We will be running a host of strategic sessions with industry experts on fundraising, digital development, governance and more. Amongst these sessions, we will be welcoming Bill Benjamin, current chair of LSJS, former chair of UJIA and a trustee of JLC.

Bill will be talking through his tips for supporting the community, and having worked with Bill as a communal colleague for many years, I believe that there is no one better to support you and provide guidance as you embark on this journey. We are delighted that he will be joined by Benjamin Peters and Joshua Kanter, who will talk through how they were able to start their initiative, following a realisation that it was time to step up.

I have had the pleasure of recently attending graduations for the JLC and Lead Adam Science and Dangoor Senior Leadership Programmes. These inspiring leaders will have a big say in the future of our community, but they can’t do it alone. Thinking about helping is no longer an option. It’s time for action, and that starts by joining us on 28 March.

Find out more about the conference here or contact

Debbie Fox is vice-chair of the Jewish Leadership Council and chair of Lead

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