The Jewish Council for Racial Equality has expressed dismay that its application to join the Board of Deputies has been rejected – and has accused some deputies of making “false” allegations which swayed the decision.
Five new organisations were welcomed to the Board at a special meeting on Monday night to vote on applications which required a two-thirds majority to succeed.
But Jcore and Manchester’s Zionist Central Council failed to attract sufficient support.
In a statement, Jcore said it was “saddened that the Board didn’t see fit to welcome the community’s voice on race and asylum into its membership”.
Jcore director Dr Edie Friedman said the council had been accused of “giving help and comfort to the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people” and of not objecting to antisemitism.
“Those allegations are false in every detail and we feel will have misled other deputies to vote against us.”
Its chairman, Adam Rose, added: "I was pleased that a majority of deputies backed Jcore’s application for membership.”
Gift, the Jewish Police Association, the Jewish Small Communities Network and the special educational organisations Kisharon and Langdon were all accepted by the Board.
Acting chief executive Michael Wegier said: “This brings the Board of Deputies up to 208 member organisations and synagogues, making the organisation the key forum to discuss the issues of the day and giving us unparalleled legitimacy to speak on behalf of the community.
“While two organisations, Jcore and the Zionist Central Council, will be disappointed at being unable to achieve the two thirds majority set out in the Board of Deputies constitution, the result does not preclude these organisations reapplying at a later date.”
But one deputy, Dr Vicki Harris, who represents Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue, commented: “I don’t understand how you can reject a Zionist organisation and an organisation that supports racial equality when you are Jewish. It calls into question the status of the Board of Deputies as an organisation that is opposed to racism and seeks to support the state of Israel.”