Jewish Leadership Council
The Jewish Leadership Council was formed in 2003, (as the Jewish Community Leadership Council). The Council was founded by its first Chairman, then President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Henry Grunwald QC and an array of other senior UK Jewish leaders. The Council acts as an umbrella group for various Jewish community organizations, charities, Zionist and pro-Israel advocacy groups.
The JLC brings together the most senior lay leaders of the major institutions in each sector of UK Jewish life. Membership includes the Chairs and Presidents of synagogue movements, leaders of the main charities, welfare organisations and representative bodies as well as a group of Vice-Presidents comprising a number of Jewish VIPs and individual leaders such as The Lord (Michael) Levy, Sir Ronald Cohen, Lord Harry Woolf, Lord Stanley Fink, Sir Trevor Chinn CVO, Leo Noe and former Board president and politician Lord Janner. Jeremy Newmark (former spokesperson for the Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks) was appointed as Chief Executive of the JLC in January 2006. He was succeeded by former Football Association Executive Simon Johnson in 2013.
On 1 June 2009, upon taking office as President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Vivian Wineman became the second Chairman of the Council.
In July 2009 Conservative Party Treasurers Howard Leigh and Stanley Fink joined the Council as individual members. At the same meeting Mr Mick Davis, Chairman of the United Jewish Israel Appeal was appointed as the first Chairman of the Council's Executive Committee, and Michele Vogel, President of WIZO UK became an organisational member of the JLC.
Activities, Reports & Memoranda
In December 2006, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews formed the Fair Play Campaign, a pro-Israel advocacy organization. The Fair Play Campaign coordinates activity against anti-Israel boycotts and other anti-Zionist campaigns.
In 2008 the Council launched the 'New Leadership Network', a project designed to create a forum for the development of the next generation heads of the major agencies of the UK Jewish community.
In December 2009 the Council sought and published a legal Opinion from Lord Pannick QC advocating a change in UK law to prevent the issuing of arrest warrants against Israeli leaders without prior consent of the Attorney General.
In early 2010 the Council's Schools Strategy Task Force launched a web portal promoting Jewish Faith based schools in the UK.
In December 2010 the Council advised the Government on its Big Society agenda. In talks with Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government it elicited a commitment that Jewish faith based charities should not have to dilute the Jewish elements of their ethos. The Council published a report on this topic which contained recommendations to both the UK Jewish voluntary sector and the Government.
In June 2011 together with BICOM and the Board of Deputies, Council Chair Vivian Wineman, Chair of Trustees Mick Davis and CEO Jeremy Newmark, met Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss developments in the Middle East.
In September 2011 the Council published a report on the impact of its 2008 Commission on Jewish Schools, and the work of the JLC Schools Strategy Implementation Group. The report was launched by JLC Vice-President Leo Noe and Secretary of State for Education, Nick Gibb MP at a gathering of 200 key figures from the Jewish schools sector. The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Policy Exchange Chairman Daniel Finkelstein also spoke at the launch. The report announced the establishment of a new central agency for Jewish schools.
On 16 January 2012 the Council met with Prime Minister David Cameron. The meeting covered topics including the Middle East peace process, equalities legislation, terrorism and antisemitism, Jewish schools, shechita (religious slaughter), Circumcision, and The Big Society.