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Joint office plan for Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council

    EXCLUSIVE

    The Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council are considering a move to joint premises in an effort to streamline the two organisations and save money.

    It is understood the leaders of both organisations hope that the move will not only provide financial advantages but enable key staff to work more closely together.

    Camden, north London, is thought to be the preferred location for the new offices. That would put the two organisations close to other communal groups including UJIA, Ort, the Union of Jewish Students, and the almost-finished Jewish Community Centre, currently nearing completion in Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage.

    The Board moved to its current premises in Bloomsbury Square, central London, in 2002. The building cost £1.95 million and was bought with a £1.7 million mortgage, a donation of £100,000 from Sir Sigmund Sternberg, and further money from a legacy.

    The JLC uses the Bloomsbury building as its postal address, but also operates from offices in Hendon and Camden.

    Jeremy Newmark, JLC chief executive, confirmed that exploratory discussions had already taken place regarding “possible shared premises”. The talks were held at the organisations’ joint liaison committee, which was set up two years ago to strengthen ties between the Board and JLC.

    Mr Newmark and Board chief executive Jon Benjamin have been put in charge of the project.

    Mr Newmark said: “There are obvious advantages in terms of efficiency and economy. Bringing the operations of the two central communal bodies closer together in this way would also enhance the daily collaboration between the lay and professional leadership of the Board and the JLC.”

    Mr Benjamin said a decision to sell the Board’s headquarters had not yet been made. An “exploratory exercise” to consider whether the organisations’ best interests were served by “staying put” was yet to “properly get under way”, he said.

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