Institute for Jewish Policy Research

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The Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), founded as the Institute of Jewish Affairs, is a London-based research institute and think tank. It specializes in contemporary Jewish affairs, with a particular focus on Jews in Britain and across Europe. It is responsible for most of the recent data that exist on Jews in Britain, and its most significant recent reports include a study of Jews in Britain based on the 2001 UK Census data, an analysis of the attitudes of Jews in Britain towards Israel, an extensive study of child poverty and deprivation in the British Jewish community and the first National Jewish Student Survey. Its recent think-tank activities have included "Res Publica: The European Common Good," and "New Conceptions of Community." JPR also runs a public education programme, and has hosted lectures from a range of leading international thinkers including Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, James Wolfenson, Professor Jonathan Sarna and Professor Zygmunt Bauman.

Its current programme includes a National Jewish Community Survey in the UK, and a European Union sponsored study of Jewish perceptions and experiences of antisemitism across Europe.

The Institute was founded in New York in 1941, under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Congress.[1] It moved to London in 1965,[1] and was refounded as the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in February 1996.[2]

It is a registered charity under English law and it exists to provide "policy-related research and analysis for individuals and organizations concerned with the enhancement of contemporary Jewish life."[3] Its Honorary President is Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild,[4] its Chairman is Harold Paisner, and its Executive Director is Jonathan Boyd. Its research team includes Dr David Graham and Dr Laura Staetsky, and it counts among its Associate Research Fellows Professor Sergio DellaPergola (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Professor András Kovács (Central European University, Budapest), Professor Lars Dencik (Roskilde University, Denmark), Professor Eliezer Ben-Rafael (Tel Aviv University) Professor Erik Cohen (Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv) and Professor David Feldman (Pears Centre for the Study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck College, London).

Previous directors of the institute include Professor Barry Kosmin, and Antony Lerman.

Lerman, who was director until 2009, has become a critic of "liberal Zionism," which he thinks has failed. "The attacks on freedom of speech and human rights organizations in Israel, the land-grabbing settler movement, a growing strain of anti-Arab and anti-immigrant racism, extremist politics, and a powerful, intolerant religious right" has pushed liberal Zionism to the brink, he wrote in The New York Times. "The only Zionism of any consequence today is xenophobic and exclusionary, a Jewish ethno-nationalism inspired by religious messianism. It is carrying out an open-ended project of national self-realization to be achieved through colonization and purification of the tribe."[5]


  1. ^ a b, Papers of the Institute of Jewish Affairs
  2. ^ JPR pays tribute to its founding director, Institute for Jewish Policy Research, spring 2000, accessed September 4, 2009.
  3. ^ Institute for Jewish Policy Research, Registered Charity no. 252626 at the Charity Commission
  4. ^ JPR: Governance
  5. ^ Israel’s Move to the Right Challenges Diaspora Jews, By Antony Lerman, New York Times, Aug. 22, 2014

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