Interfaith & Social Action


Commission on Racial Inclusivity completes oral evidence gathering sessions

The Board of Deputies’ Commission on Racial Inclusivity in the Jewish Community has completed its oral evidence gathering sessions, during which it has taken testimonies from Black Jews, non-Black Jews of Colour and Mizrachi, Sephardi and Yemenite Jews Written evidence is still being collected until 24 August via an online survey, which is also open […]

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Community unites through Eco Synagogue to mark London Climate Action Week

Eco Synagogue, in partnership with the Board of Deputies, is marking London Climate Action Week with a seminar entitled “How Green can we make the new normal?” Eco Synagogue, a landmark cross communal initiative with input from United, Reform, Liberal and Masorti denominations will also be releasing a series of videos in the run-up to […]

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BLOG: Thank You Thursdays! #2

In response to the real difficulties being faced during the Coronavirus pandemic, the Jewish community has responded with great tenacity, creativity and resilience. One of the core commandments of Judaism is to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ – and we are seeing evidence of this teaching being actualised throughout the country. In addition to expressing […]

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Government Islamophobia adviser tells Board of Deputies conference: ‘Our communities must stand together on hate’

Imam Qari Asim, the government’s adviser on a definition of Islamophobia,  has told a Board of Deputies of British Jews conference about the importance of the Jewish and Muslim communities standing together against hate. Speaking on a panel chaired by Board of Deputies Vice-President Edwin Shuker, Imam Asim said:  “Islamophobia and antisemitism have been on […]

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UK’s first faith-based scheme launches to combat sexual harassment in the workplace

The UK’s first faith-based scheme to combat sexual harassment in the workplace has been announced today. The launch follows heightened awareness around unacceptable behaviour in society in general, including the #MeToo movement and a recent government report on a zero tolerance approach towards sexual harassment. The three-year project, specifically for Jewish charities and community organisations, […]

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Board President condemns “vile” film screening.

Following reports of a screening in London of Homelands, a ‘documentary’ by Katie Hopkins and former Ukip MEP Janice Atkinson on the “Islamification of Europe”, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has commented: “This vile Muslim-baiting film should never have seen the light of day. Shame on those who hosted and promoted such an […]

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Board of Deputies applauds Church in Wales over adoption of antisemitism definition

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has applauded the Church in Wales for their adoption of the international definition of antisemitism. She said: “We are pleased to see that the international antisemitism definition is gathering pace in the faith communities. Following the Church of England’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition […]

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Board of Deputies condemns Quakers’ Israel divestment policy

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has condemned the decision of Quakers in Britain to divest from, in its words, “any companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine”. Marie said: “The appalling decision of the Friends House hierarchy to divest from just one country in the world – the only Jewish state – […]

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Parliamentarians from across the divide unite to support Mitzvah Day

Twenty-nine parliamentarians from across the political spectrum came together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mitzvah Day by taking part in a social action event inside the Houses of Parliament. Parliamentarians – including Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable, Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, Conservative Party Vice Chairs for Communities Helen Grant and Rehman Chishti […]

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Board of Deputies condemns hate attack on Islamic centre

Board of Deputies Vice President Edwin Shuker has condemned a hate attack on an Islamic centre in North-West London. He said: “We denounce the attack on worshippers outside an Islamic Centre in Cricklewood. The rise in anti-Muslim hostility should alarm all of us. According to Tell MAMA, 2017 saw a rise of 16.3% in reports […]

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 Board of Deputies supports calls for Windrush inquiry

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush and President-Elect Marie van der Zyl have supported calls for an inquiry into wrongful deportations of members of the Windrush generation. They said: “The news that 63 members of the Windrush generation could have been wrongfully deported from our country is deeply distressing to anyone who cares about justice […]

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Board of Deputies ‘concern’ at treatment of Windrush migrants

Board of Deputies of British Jews Senior Vice President Richard Verber has expressed concern over the treatment of migrants who arrived from the Commonwealth as children in the 1950s and who may now face deportation. He said: “Like other migrant communities, Jews know what it is like to be treated as the ‘other’. Therefore we […]

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Board of Deputies launches social media campaign to encourage women and young people to become Deputies

At the start of its presidential election year, the Board of Deputies is launching a social media campaign to encourage young people and women to stand for election as Deputies. Four advertisements and a graphic have been produced, all  which will be promoted on social media. You can view the videos here. […]

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What does JSAF do?

The Jewish Social Action Forum [JSAF] seeks to increase the UK Jewish Community’s engagement with social action by; campaigning – we co-ordinate cross-communal support for social and environmental justice campaigns convening – the forum brings together its members for meeting, inviting guest speakers and fostering links for those advancing the Jewish social change agenda conferences – the forum works with […]

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Jewish Social Action Forum

The Jewish Social Action Forum (JSAF) – convened by the Board of Deputies – is a group of organisations who aim to promote, develop and activate the British Jewish Community’s pursuit of social action. Click HERE to receive the monthly JSAF newsletter and keep up to date with campaigns, causes and events. JSAF is made up […]

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Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Women’s Aid to examine measures to protect every member of community against harassment

The Chief Executives of the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Women’s Aid have held a consultative meeting, to discuss the issue of sexual harassment in the Jewish community. We are now examining a suite of measures to ensure that every person in our community feels respected, secure and protected from harassment. […]

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Jewish Women’s Aid, Board of Deputies and synagogue movements mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women

A major cross-communal awareness-raising campaign against domestic violence, led by Jewish Women’s Aid and the Board of Deputies and supported by the synagogue movements, will be taking place across the country this Shabbat. The campaign coincides with the annual UN-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), which falls on Shabbat 25th […]

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New ‘Invest in Peace’ events announced

More local events have been announced for the Israeli-Palestinian ‘Invest in Peace’ initiative organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). Invest in Peace invites Christian and Jewish communities in Britain to come together in support of Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding projects. The events provide the opportunity to hear from two bereaved parents, […]

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Jewish and Muslim organisations complain to IPSO about “dangerous” article

Jewish and Muslim organisations in Britain have made a joint complaint about The Sun to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, regarding a “dangerous” anti-Muslim article by Trevor Kavanagh. Their complaint – submitted jointly by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Tell MAMA and Faith Matters – states that: “The printing of the phrase ‘The […]

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BLOG: Reject bigotry and invest in peace

As Methodist Conference convenes, a number of motions related to the Balfour Declaration are due to be debated. Marie van der Zyl reflects on the importance of the centenary of Balfour for the Jewish community There has been a huge public outcry over recent years about the terrible plight of refugees seeking sanctuary in Europe. The Jewish community […]

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Praise for achievements of Women in Jewish Leadership at celebration event

Speakers including Shakira Martin, the president-elect of the National Union of Students, last night celebrated the achievements of Women in Jewish Leadership (WJL) – the project founded to address gender equality issues in the community. Shakira Martin told the audience at the event in central London that “by coming together, women of ethnic minorities can […]

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Board of Deputies President condemns attack on Muslim worshippers

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush has condemned last night’s attack outside a mosque in north London. Jonathan said: “We condemn the attack on Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park last night, which appears to be a terrorist incident. Our heartfelt sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with the victims. This weekend, the Jewish community joined Muslims […]

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Statement on Egypt attacks targeting Christians

The Board of Deputies of British Jews forcefully condemns the appalling terror attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Tanta and Alexandria, Egypt. These attacks, which took place as people gathered to pray on Sunday, strike at the fabric of Egyptian society and are particularly concerning given the situation faced by Christians and other religious minorities […]

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BLOG: Interfaith tour provided an uplifting end to the year

By Anthony Silkoff The consensus seems to to be that 2016 was a pretty bad year. So it came as a huge relief when Limmud conference – with its debates, dancing and doughnuts – came along and saved my year. Although as the organiser I might be biased, I felt the Board of Deputies’ interfaith […]

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Sizer set to ‘end Clergy career under cloud’

Stephen Sizer has breached the terms of the undertakings he gave to the Church of England by attending and publishing a social media post about a particularly ugly and inflammatory event with Jenny Tonge in the chair. Tonge was subsequently suspended from the Liberal Democrat Party as a result. The terms of Sizer’s agreement – […]

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Jonathan Arkush meets Pope at Vatican

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush this week met Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of a World Jewish Congress delegation. Reflecting on the hour-long meeting, Jonathan said: “It was a great privilege to meet Pope Francis. I am left with a strong sense that he is a man of sincerity, decency, great humour […]

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Board of Deputies President praises Archbishop of Canterbury on antisemitism

Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the national representative body of the UK Jewish community, has praised an article on the subject of antisemitism written by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Jonathan said: “Archbishop Welby’s intervention is powerful and timely. Millennia of theological antisemitism against Jews – including the canard that […]

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Interfaith & Social Action

Interfaith Relations The Board of Deputies is recognised as the Jewish community leader on initiatives that promote good relations between the UK’s different faith and ethnic communities. We develop strong partnerships and dialogue on a range of issues of mutual interest, including education, equality and fighting extremism. Through our engagement with organisations such as the […]

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Board of Deputies ‘disappointment’ at Methodist Church exhibition

Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl  has expressed disappointment at an exhibition to be held Hinde Street Methodist Church, Marylebone, which features a reconstruction  of  a border control point between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. She said: “We are disappointed that a church is looking to host what looks like a one-sided exhibition, which puts unwelcome and […]

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A Better Way than Boycotts: The Board’s Response to BDS

We are pleased to present the Board’s response to Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS). The document effectively addresses and counters the fundamental issues raised by the BDS campaign, explaining its various motivations and divisive consequences. The document advocates the approach of positive investment into the region, emphasising the ways in which people who […]

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