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Roslyn Pine

9 May

We asked each of the candidates 12 questions about their vision of the board. These are the responses we received from Roslyn Pine.

Click here to return to the main post, but see how they answered the question above here.

 

What are the most pressing concerns you feel the community needs the Board of Deputies to focus on?

 

Issues of anti semitism in all its guises. Countering BDS. Wholehearted support for Israel. Preventing events like Al Quds day. Ensuring that students can express their Judaism/ Zionism on campus without fear of intimidation and violence.

Ensuring that Jews are free to practise their religious beliefs, like Brit Milah and shechita.

 

What is the one thing you love most about the Board?

 

Having the opportunity to connect with Jews across the spectrum, both in terms of age and religious affiliation.

 

What is the one thing that most frustrates you about the Board?

 

Not having any role in decision making, despite sitting on a division (International). The democratic mandate seems to be for the very few. It seems that the views of the average deputy count for very little.

 

What will you do to make plenaries and meetings productive?

 

Cut out the divisional reports by the VPs which we can all read in the papers ahead of the plenaries.

Ditto reading out personal announcements.

The time saved could be better spent on the working groups following the plenaries.

Revert to the ‘parliament’ seating arrangement which was voted for overwhelmingly by deputies, but ignored. It enabled deputies to connect with each other rather than stare at the back of someone’s head.

 

How will you represent and work with people who you disagree with?

 

Concentrate on the issues we agree upon, thereby fostering goodwill.

 

How will you represent the diversity of opinion in our community with regards to Israel?

 

That is not required by the Board’s constitution, nor is it feasible.

The Board should take no view as to this or that Israeli policy. The Board’s remit is to do whatever in its power to support Israel’s security, well being and standing.

 

How will you continue the Board’s record of combating racism and antisemitism both in and out of the community?

 

Continue Jonathan Arkush’s good work. The latest success story was the co ordination with the JLC & other groups to meet Corbyn and ensure it had maximum publicity. The wider world needs to understand that the Jewish community will not put up with anti semitism any longer.

 

Do we need a zero tolerance policy of racism in Jewish communal organisations?

 

Yes. It should be clearly understood, however, that criticising any religion, including Judaism, is NOT racism, but the hallmark of a free society. Religion is a body of ideas, not a group of people.

 

How will you ensure that young people are spoken to rather than spoken about?

 

Do what I’ve always done, speak to them directly to find out their concerns and try to act upon them.

 

How will you use the Board’s profile and stature to shine a light on the great work of other communal groups?

 

Make its expertise available to whichever organisation needs it. Give whatever support possible to those communal groups calling for it.

 

What will the Board look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

Hopefully more democratic and more representative of the views of mainstream Anglo Jewy.

 

What will the Jewish community look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

More confident in its skin. More able to express its Judaism and Zionism openly without the fear of anti Semitism.

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Tal Ofer

9 May

We asked each of the candidates 12 questions about their vision of the board. These are the responses we received from Tal Ofer.

Click here to return to the main post, but see how they answered the question above here.

 

What are the most pressing concerns you feel the community needs the Board of Deputies to focus on?

 

In my view the community needs the Board to focus on combatting antisemitism, fighting BDS and delegtimisation of Israel, protecting religious freedoms such as Shechita and Milah and deepening interfaith relations with other faith groups, including the ones who are not Abrahamic religions. In addition, protecting and supporting our students is very important, as they are the future leadership of our community. I’m the VP candidate with the track record and the most to offer on the community’s key issues

 

What is the one thing you love most about the Board?

 

The rich history and the respect it has both inside and outside our community. I’m very proud to be part of the Board and represent it wherever I go.

 

What is the one thing that most frustrates you about the Board?

 

Deputies are not empowered enough is surely the most frustrating thing in my view. Unfortunately, not everyone can be elected to a division or as honorary officer, and we need to better to utilize the skills of all deputies and involve them both more in plenaries and outside plenaries (I elaborate in my answer to question 4 on how to provide solutions).

 

What will you do to make plenaries and meetings productive?

 

As I said in my manifesto, I would like to have regular debates and voting on policies at plenaries so all deputies can contribute and shape the future direction of the Board. In addition, I propose to upload all plenary documents online, providing all deputies with BOD email address, and creating an online forum for deputies where they could hold the executive to account between plenaries and to have sub-forums for each division. This will ensure more transparency, easier exchange of information and empowerment for all deputies.

 

How will you represent and work with people who you disagree with?

 

The purpose of being an honorary officer is to represent the diversity of our community. That means building consensus between different groups and views. I believe that having different opinions in debates and meetings is essential part of a democracy and in particular, at the Board which is the democratically elected representative of the community. We are here to serve the community and that means working with various groups and opinions. I will utilise my personal and communication skills, I’m a very good listener who knows how to bring people together.

 

 

How will you represent the diversity of opinion in our community with regards to Israel?

 

Israel has a deep place in the hearts of all Jews worldwide, it is the only Jewish state, some of us supporting it financially by donating to charities, some of us have houses and family members there and many of us love to go there on holiday. That doesn’t mean that as a community we agree with each action of Israel’s government and our job as honorary officers it to represent the views of the community – a good example was the Board’s intervention on the refugees issue and the letter the Board sent to the Israeli embassy. In my manifesto, I mention that we expect present and future Israeli government to respect all streams of Judaism and continue protecting the human rights of minorities, including refugees and asylum seekers.

 

How will you continue the Board’s record of combating racism and antisemitism both in and out of the community?

 

I’m very committed to fighting antisemitism and racism wherever I see it and I have a track record. I have always stood up to any kind of discrimination or bigotry. I will not tolerate islamophobic or racist views within our community, as I would not tolerate such views from outside. I will work with relevant groups and organisations like the CST for example, and also promote deepening of interfaith and education projects to tackle all forms of racism. We need to diversify our efforts in order to eradicate racism and antisemitism and that means working with other groups to have a bigger impact.

 

Do we need a zero tolerance policy of racism in Jewish communal organisations?

 

As Hillel said:’ What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation’. We must have a zero tolerance approach to racism in Jewish organisations, as we would expect any Non-Jewish organisation to have the same approach to racism.

 

How will you ensure that young people are spoken to rather than spoken about?

 

As the youngest VP candidate (I still consider myself young at 38 years old) I can confidently say that I understand and relate to the concerns of our younger deputies and as they respect other deputies, they need to be shown the same respect when spoken to. I will ensure that all deputies treated fairly and equally and that in particular young people are feeling welcomed at the Board – I will lead on this.

 

How will you use the Board’s profile and stature to shine a light on the great work of other communal groups?

 

One way to shine a light on the great work of other communal groups is to include it in the weekly briefing that goesout for the community. Another way is to involve speakers from these communal groups to address plenaries and the Board’s divisions – we had for example Olivia Marks-Woldman from Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, we hosted the UJS President Josh Seitler and we had excellent presentation by Jonathan Boyd from

JPR on the demographics of British Jewry. Since we are the voice of the community, it is essential that we give a voice and amplify the great work of other communal groups.

 

What will the Board look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

It will be a more inclusive, representative, united and pro-active Board. We will have more young deputies, women, people with disabilities and Jews from different backgrounds. We will reach out to members of community who do not belong to synagogue or organisation and look at ways to involve them at the Board. We will deepen relations with groups like the Charedi and others who are not represented on the Board and we will be pro-active in driving our agenda and not just being reactive.

 

What will the Jewish community look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

The Jewish community as a whole will be more empowered, united and having even more pride in the Board’s work. Smaller and regional communities will get the necessary support and will be able to tackle local issues. Our community will continue to thrive and contribute to the economy, science, education and other areas, and we will deepen relations with other faith groups and communities across the UK.

Gary Mond

9 May

We asked each of the candidates 12 questions about their vision of the board. These are the responses we received from Gary Mond.

Click here to return to the main post, but see how they answered the question above here.

 

What are the most pressing concerns you feel the community needs the Board of Deputies to focus on?

 

The continuing battle against anti-semitism, the defence of the legitimacy of the state of Israel and the improvement of the relevance of the Board to the Jewish community in the UK. Additionally, we will find that we also have to defend our Jewish religious traditions such as brit milah, shechita and kashrut.

 

What is the one thing you love most about the Board?

 

The camaraderie among Deputies. I really enjoy chatting with fellow Deputies about the issues of the day, even with those whom I profoundly disagree.

 

What is the one thing that most frustrates you about the Board?

 

The lack of ability for Deputies to really have an impact and change anything, especially on the divisions. It is also very difficult and bureaucratic to bring a motion to the Board for debate. Excluding the Yachad debate in November 2014, which was required by the constitution, in my seven years on the Board there have only been two formal motions brought (Oxfam 2012 and working with Israel haters 2016) and I was a proposer in both cases!

 

What will you do to make plenaries and meetings productive?

 

Make it easier to have debates. I favour the “emergency motion” style, whereby someone who wants to propose a motion has to find not only a seconder but also an opposer, and a seconder to the opposer. The four of them then jointly send the resolution to the President maybe up to ten days before a plenary. He or she selects, perhaps in conjunction with fellow HOs, the motion for debate. We should have one of those at each meeting. Current topics might be organ donation or refugees / asylum seekers in Israel.

 

How will you represent and work with people who you disagree with?

 

At the outset, we set out common objectives on which we can largely agree, and we stick to them. In my case, my objectives are largely set out in my manifesto, although as I am standing for Vice President (and not President) the role I get will be determined by the new President.

 

How will you represent the diversity of opinion in our community with regards to Israel?

 

I like to think that we can all agree about the necessity of defending the legitimacy of the state of Israel. It is sometimes necessary to strike a compromising position, as the current President has with regard to the issue of refugees / asylum seekers in Israel. As regards the bigger picture of internal Israeli politics, these are not, in my opinion, a matter for the Board. Whether Deputies support Meretz, Yesh Atid, Likud or Bayit Yehudi makes for great conversation but is irrelevant for the Board.

 

How will you continue the Board’s record of combating racism and antisemitism both in and out of the community?

 

By having a zero tolerance policy and calling out racism and antisemitism wherever they are found. The same goes for anti-Muslim hatred.

 

Do we need a zero tolerance policy of racism in Jewish communal organisations?

 

In a word, yes. What more is there to say?

 

How will you ensure that young people are spoken to rather than spoken about?

 

By engaging with them and finding out their concerns. One issue actually came up at last night’s Liberal Jewish Synagogue hustings, namely concern about hostility towards same sex couples.

 

How will you use the Board’s profile and stature to shine a light on the great work of other communal groups?

 

Whenever possible, the Board should be seen to be partnering (in a loose sense, not necessarily a financial one!) with other communal groups on projects.

 

What will the Board look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

Younger, because I favour a radical co-option policy, bringing more young people on to the Board as Deputies and not necessarily via synagogues or other communal organisations.

 

What will the Jewish community look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

I don’t think that the Board can change what the Jewish community will look like, in all honesty!

 

Denise Lester

9 May

We asked each of the candidates 12 questions about their vision of the board. These are the responses we received from Denise Lester.

Click here to return to the main post, but see how they answered the question above here.

 

What are the most pressing concerns you feel the community needs the Board of Deputies to focus on?

 

Antisemitism. In all its forms. From the Labour party, on campus, in the media, schools, places of work, and on the street. Everywhere. From the intentional to the ignorant. So that every Jew no matter where they stand in terms of religious practice and none can live safely and securely as a Jew across the UK. I think there needs to be educational material and videos up on the Board’s website to explain to the non- Jewish community what it is and why it cannot be tolerated. Also safety and security for our community working with the CST, police and other professionals. Dignity for Jews. Also education of the Jewish identity, way of life for and why it is so important to us. Good inter- faith relations too.

 

What is the one thing that you love most about the Board?

 

I love the fact that it is the only democratically elected body that represents the Jewish Community for the common good with dedicated deputies from many organisations with diverse opinions, diversity in age, gender and religious practice. Every single Deputy I respect, admire and wish to engage with.

 

What is the one thing that most frustrates you about the Board?

 

The fact that each Deputy does not contribute to his/ her full potential; plenaries and meetings in their existing forms  do not promote this as the Board is often HO led top down and deputies can get demoralised, disconnected  and even feel disenfranchised. This is counterproductive for them, the organisations that they represent and serve, for the Board and for the community. This needs to Change.

 

What will you do to make plenaries and meetings more productive?

 

Regarding plenaries, circulate questions and answers wherever possible. Give every deputy the chance to speak, wherever practicable, lessening time to speak so that Deputies have to be more succinct. Another HO to Chair plenary if the President/ HO has a potential conflict of interest in. Effective chairing and time management and better timings  of meetings. Use of Skype, workflow streams, closed and open media platforms for deputies to participate.

 

How will you represent and work with people who you disagree with?

 

Effectively and responsibly. I aim to listen, appreciate, understand and represent their views when necessary and / or appropriate / relevant on issues and when circumstances arise. I will facilitate and respect dialogue and consensus.  I am open minded and tolerant in outlook, but also have a keen sense of where to take strong positions when required/ necessary.

 

How will you represent the diversity of opinion in our community with regard to Israel?

 

Effectively and responsibly. There is a unique bond between the Board, the community and Israel, despite diversity of opinion in our community. I will listen and offer support when necessary in the media (as in the past) and in meetings.

 

How will you continue the Board’s record of combating racism and antisemitism both in and out of the community?

 

By working with our Chief Executive, staff members, other key communal organisations such as CST and Jewish Leadership Council, engaging with government and all political parties, the police, synagogues, communal organisations, educational authorities, universities, colleges, schools and other relevant professionals.

 

Do we need a zero tolerance policy of racism in Jewish communal organisations?

 

My present or future role as an aspiring / Honorary Officer as Vice President does not extend to working in other Jewish communal organisations. It is up to them to implement policy and procedures. Personally I do not condone racism.   But day to day running of other communal organisations is up to the organisations themselves. This could be desirable as an aim. I would wish to have more information and dialogue from Changing the Board and others e.g. staff and our Chief Executive to know if it is necessary. Also as to consequences as to risk management from them. This could be a negative if any communal organisations employ non- Jewish staff and a potential litigation risk to them so a risk impact analysis could be undertaken.  I see this as something for The Jewish Leadership Council to assess as they may wish to and lead as the JLC have executive members of other communal organisations and more acute knowledge and resources to assess whether this policy is necessary.

 

How will you ensure that young people are spoken to rather than spoken about?

 

By direct dialogue, engagement and involvement with young people. And not just young people being “spoken to “which suggests unconscious superiority. I would rather work in partnership with young people as equals, identifying issues of concern and developing with them strategies and action plans to deal with these.

 

How will you use the Board’s profile and stature to shine a light on the great work of other communal groups?

 

By promoting the awareness of their role. Especially when there are strategic alliances. And promoting the Board’s role. Also sponsorship / support by way of the Board’s logo when required and mandated by the Deputies.

 

What will the Board look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

Even more firmly positioned in the communal, external and international stage as the leading, only democratic Jewish communal organisation that represents promotes the interests of and protects British Jews. Hopefully, better funded, even more media savvy with great staff and Deputies having even more involvement in developing and participating in the Board’s activities.

 

What will the Jewish community look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

More confident of their right to exist, live in the UK and proud of their identity and way of life. Wherever they are as individuals and their involvement. And confident and proud that the Board is there to take the lead and is respected in the outside world in protecting the Jewish Community. I look forward to the opportunity of working collaboratively with Deputies other HOs our Chief Executive, valued Staff at the Board and other communal organisations, government and the Jewish community and external community if elected so that this is achieved.

Robert Festenstein

9 May

We asked each of the candidates 12 questions about their vision of the board. These are the responses we received from Robert Festenstein.

Click here to return to the main post, but see how they answered the question above here.

 

What are the most pressing concerns you feel the community needs the Board of Deputies to focus on?

 

a) Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party specifically and the left generally

b) Bias against Israel in the media

 

What is the one thing you love most about the Board?

 

It has a familial approach.  It was very reassuring to receive condolences from the HOs, members of staff and deputies when my mother passed away in January this year.

 

What is the one thing that most frustrates you about the Board?

 

There is a sense – however unjustified – that it is a top down organisation that doesn’t engage with the deputies. 

 

What will you do to make plenaries and meetings productive?

 

They will need to be longer.  At present there is as there should, be accountability with questions to the HOs, but little room for proposals on strategy.  I would seek input on proposed actions rather than just reporting on what has happened.

 

How will you represent and work with people who you disagree with?

 

Professionally, in the way I have to in my working life.

 

How will you represent the diversity of opinion in our community with regards to Israel?

 

I believe that the Board should remain at all possible away from Israeli Government policy.  I would simply say that there is a diversity of opinion and the Board’s position is based upon the principal of the State as a Jewish homeland.

 

How will you continue the Board’s record of combating racism and antisemitism both in and out of the community?

 

The Board should produce a guide on hate crime for use by all Deputies and the community.  Also, it should start to initiate prosecutions for hate crime where the CPS refuse to take action.

 

Do we need a zero tolerance policy of racism in Jewish communal organisations?

 

I haven’t seen any evidence which requires this.

 

How will you ensure that young people are spoken to rather than spoken about?

 

It is about being inclusive in an approach rather than dictatorial.  Their contribution is important and the Board need to engage with them.

 

How will you use the Board’s profile and stature to shine a light on the great work of other communal groups?

 

Joint campaigns and activities where appropriate.

 

What will the Board look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

More engaged with itself.  I propose a Deputies secure page on the Board website to enable a proper two way means of communication and to provide proper resource and co-ordination of effort.  The enough is enough campaign could have been passed onto Deputies given technology.  With a secure Deputies area, notifications could be sent and some form of co-ordinated effort achieved.  This would work with the guide to hate crime I am also proposing as well as responding to issues as they arise.

 

What will the Jewish community look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

I hope, more engaged with the Board.  If as I propose, through better use of technology Deputies become more active, this will be seen by the community who in turn will recognise the work being done by the Board.  If being a Deputy starts to carry some status, then more positions will be contested and hopefully by more women and younger people.

 

 

 

Kim Cohen

9 May

We asked each of the candidates 12 questions about their vision of the board. These are the responses we received from Kim Cohen.

Click here to return to the main post, but see how they answered the question above here.

 

What are the most pressing concerns you feel the community needs the Board of Deputies to focus on?

 

The most pressing concerns the Community needs for the BoD to focus on are:

  • combatting anti-Semitism and rising extremism
  • reversing anti-Israel bias and anti-Zionism
  • advocate on behalf of the Jewish community to address the image of Jews in UK society

 

What is the one thing you love most about the Board?

 

The BoD reaches out to all sections of the broad spectrum of the Jewish community  through its democratically elected representatives. This inclusivity along with the passion of my fellow deputies has impressed me in the 3 years I have been on the Board. 

 

What is the one thing that most frustrates you about the Board?

 

The Board is at times too much engrossed in process (points of order, amendments to resolutions etc.) and not enough on concentrating on the agenda items to move the Board towards its vision and strategy.

 

What will you do to make plenaries and meetings productive?

 

In view of the size of the Board, the Agenda needs to be more carefully prepared by the Executive towards progressing the strategic goals. The plenaries need to be conducted in a more disciplined way and keeping to the
material issues of the Agenda.

 

How will you represent and work with people who you disagree with?

 

I am a professional manager and business leader and accustomed to dealing with disparate views and entrenched positions. My business experience is in achieving results while remaining balanced, fair and acting with integrity towards all parties.

 

How will you represent the diversity of opinion in our community with regards to Israel?

 

First by adhering to the Board’s charter to advocate for Israel and defend its legitimacy. I believe in listening to all views and engaging with all parties with the intention of upholding the best interests of the Jewish State. This will inevitably please some parties and disappoint others from time to time. The importance is to always maintain an open mind and a willingness to represent

views without bias.

 

How will you continue the Board’s record of combating racism and antisemitism both in and out of the community?

 

I am totally committed towards the fight against the spread of racism and anti-Semitism. Racism is illegal and needs to be reported at every opportunity.

I am motivated to maintain the Board’s pressure on countering anti-Semitism in all its guises. I think we need to organize collaborative engagements with other faiths by jointly calling on Governments to stamp out hate and extremism.

 

Do we need a zero tolerance policy of racism in Jewish communal organisations?

 

Racism is illegal and zero tolerance is the only option in any community.

 

How will you ensure that young people are spoken to rather than spoken about?

 

Young people should be encouraged to participate in all the Board’s work. I believe in this approach as we are shaping the landscape for the benefit of our children and future generations. I have personally encouraged a young member of my community join the Board under 35 group. I believe each deputy should do the same. This step would transform the Board over the next 5 years as we hand over to this new generation.

 

How will you use the Board’s profile and stature to shine a light on the great work of other communal groups?

 

The Board is an historic and venerated body in the UK and as the umbrella organization for the entire Jewish community, we should promote and celebrate all achievements in all communal groups.

 

What will the Board look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

Better funded, better organized and working cohesively on delivering the  Board’s vision.

 

What will the Jewish community look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

I would hope that the Jewish community will be better informed and understand the strategic direction of the Board towards the protecting the interests of the UK Jewish community whilst defending Israel.

 

Amanda Bowman

9 May

We asked each of the candidates 12 questions about their vision of the board. These are the responses we received from Amanda Bowman.

Click here to return to the main post, but see how they answered the question above here.

 

What are the most pressing concerns you feel the community needs the Board of Deputies to focus on?

 

  • Fighting antisemitism, racism and extremism wherever it exists so that we can live safely and securely in a tolerant and open Great Britain
  • The positive contribution British Jews play and can play in Britain and our contribution to society
  • Defending our rights to a Jewish way of life including shechita, milah and faith schools
  • The polarising of attitudes to Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • The changing demographics of the community (the Jewish ‘centres of gravity’, ageing, decline in synagogue membership, rise in strictly orthodox) and its implications on social care, housing, education, etc.

 

What is the one thing you love most about the Board?

 

I love the diversity of the Board Meetings. They are like a simcha of a distant relative: being seated between the soulmate you’ve never met before and someone with completely opposing views. Deputies exemplify the rich mix of today’s British Jewry. It’s a very special thing to have a regular opportunity to be with such a diverse group. We may not agree but when we debate, the wide range of contributions are always helpful. I also love that we have regained our place as the acknowledged primary spokespeople for British Jews and are seen as credible, respected and representative.

 

What is the one thing that most frustrates you about the Board?

 

The Board Meetings. They are not a good use of Deputies’ time. The President’s and Divisional Reports have been circulated and should be taken as read so that the time is used for Deputy comment and input. We need more time for debate and an atmosphere of respect and openness to all views. There are so many people with so much to give – and currently so little space for them to break through the noise.

 

What will you do to make plenaries and meetings productive?

 

Plenaries provide a great opportunity to hear expert opinion and to be able to interrogate it. The Deputies have a right to hear from the most authoritative voices on issues to inform our debates and decision making. Agendas should be structured to allow for the greatest Deputy input.

 

Meetings are the place for in-depth discussion and we need to ensure that technology, meeting times and an open mind allow Deputies to contribute.

 

 

How will you represent and work with people who you disagree with?

 

In my experience, working with people with contrasting views can generate solutions that may not have been possible had everyone started from the same position. As an example, our Jewish Living Experience now has an additional optional exhibit showing the diversity of our practice – we don’t all practice Judaism the same way. And as an Honorary Officer, my personal view would be secondary to whatever line has been agreed by Deputies. As a democratic organisation, all Deputies’ views should be heard, particularly where they reflect the position of their organisations/communities.

 

How will you represent the diversity of opinion in our community with regards to Israel?

 

I have never heard any Deputy refute our core goal to take the appropriate action to advance Israel’s security, welfare and standing. However, like any issue we face, the Board needs to recognise that Israel elicits a range of opinions. I would continue to encourage debate and discussion to build a better understanding of all perspectives. By embracing all views, we build respect and trust in the community. Where possible, I would work towards a consensus and would present that position irrespective of any personal position.

 

 

How will you continue the Board’s record of combating racism and antisemitism both in and out of the community?

 

We must continue to partner with organisations within and beyond our community to uncover and challenge incidents of racism and antisemitism, standing up with others against all forms of racism regardless of the perpetrators or victims. We must hold Jeremy Corbyn to account for the actions agreed in March and tackle racism and antisemitism on the right and elsewhere. Our work educating the wider community, particularly children about Judaism and our way of life provides a long term and strategic foundation for understanding. We should build on this and provide education and deeper engagement with those in all parties and across society.

 

Do we need a zero tolerance policy of racism in Jewish communal organisations?

 

Racism against any group, not just Jews, is unacceptable in whatever form and wherever it manifests. We should be holding our Jewish communal organisations to the same high standards for addressing racism as are expected in any organisation in the UK. Staff should be responsible for ensuring that they behave in an appropriate manner, showing respect for all colleagues and their service users. Staff should be trained and encouraged to appropriately challenge racist behaviour and raise concerns with managers Strict disciplinary action for violations of any policy should be taken, including termination of employment.

 

How will you ensure that young people are spoken to rather than spoken about?

 

Oscar Wilde said, “There’s only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.” We talk ‘about’ young people because without their engagement, we cannot be fit for purpose. We must recognise that young people are more resourceful than their elders, especially with technology. I would have young people lead on improving the way we use technology in our work and demonstrate how this can impact working practices and results. I would also aim for young people to be represented in all aspects of the Board’s work and engaged in decision making. I note of course, that young people set up Change the Board and sent out these questions.

 

How will you use the Board’s profile and stature to shine a light on the great work of other communal groups?

 

My day job focuses on partnership building and partnerships provide opportunities to maximise the impact of our work. Being a good partner means using our resources to showcase good practice in the community. We should have regular input to Board Meetings from communal groups to raise awareness of their work; features on the website, more forums to bring Deputies and others together to discuss and support their work. There’s too much to do to work alone and by working with others, and recognising their achievements, we in turn shine brighter.

 

What will the Board look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

Board Meetings won’t be boring. The Board will be ‘bigger’: more inclusive with more young people, women and under-represented groups. Deputies will be doing more than attending Board Meetings and will be proud of the role they play tackling antisemitism, the deligitimisation of Israel and threats to our religious practices. There will be more staff working on the issues that Deputies have prioritised in the Strategic Plan and we will have raised the money required to pay for this extra activity. We’ll be more impactful by partnering extensively with the JLC, other communal organisations and with organisations outside the community.

 

What will the Jewish community look like in 3 years’ time under your leadership?

 

The community will be proud of the Board’s work on the challenges and issues they face as British Jews, but it will be our contributions to society that will define us. The community will be more secure in a more open and tolerant society, our Jewish rituals will continue to be safe; we’ll positively engaging with others. As well as caring for each other, the community will reach out and serve the wider community. Our young people will be confident in their Jewish identity with many different ways of expressing their Judaism in a vibrant cultural and social environment.