Maccabi GB, the Jewish Association for Mental Illness (JAMI), The Friendship Circle, Mitzvah Day and The Jewish Vegetarian Society were all voted onto the Board. In addition, two new synagogues, Harrogate Hebrew Congregation and Aberdeen Hebrew Congregation, have also joined the Board of Deputies this month. Manchester North Salford (Vine Street) Synagogue has returned to the organisation. There are now 157 member synagogues and 46 other organisations making up the Board of Deputies.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “I would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to the five organisations which have become the newest members of our expanding and diverse collection of community organisations representing all facets of the UK Jewish community. We are delighted that so many organisations have been seeking to join the organisation in recent months, from all political wings, denominations and charitable sectors. This is in large part due to the excellent work of our Community Engagement Team. Since the start of 2020, other new joiners have included Beis Gavriel, Crouch End Chavurah (Liberal), Harif, JLiving, Magen David Adom UK, Sadeh Farm, South Tottenham United Synagogue and Tiferet Eyal Federation. Recent rejoiners have included the Armed Forces Jewish Community, World Jewish Relief and UK Lawyers For Israel. We look forward to working with all our members and continue to welcome other synagogues and organisations to join the community’s democratic representative body.”
Maccabi GB is Britain’s leading Jewish sports, health and wellbeing charity. Chairman David Pinnick, commented: “On behalf of Maccabi GB we are honoured to be elected members of the Board of Deputies. We are proud to be representing as Britain’s leading Anglo-Jewish Sports, Health and Wellbeing Charity and are looking forward to playing our part in shaping the future of the community.”
JAMI provides practical and emotional support for the mental health of the Jewish community. Chief Executive Laurie Rackind said: “Connection, a sense of belonging and being part of a community is proven to support good mental health and wellbeing. The inclusion of JAMI on the BOD recognises the importance of mental health and social care in our community and we look forward to furthering the board’s agenda in this regard.”
The Friendship Circle enriches the lives of Jewish children and adults with physical and learning disabilities through fully integrated social and recreational experiences. Programme Director Esty Bruck said: “Communities are stronger when everyone is represented and heard, We believe that people of all abilities should have the opportunity to speak up and make a difference. We are so happy to have joined the Board of Deputies along with one of our members who will represent us and look forward to working together to help our communities be as inclusive and accepting as possible.”
Mitzvah Day is the organisation behind the UK’s largest faith-led day of social action. Chief Executive Georgina Bye said: “We are very pleased that Mitzvah Day has been elected to the Board of Deputies of British Jews. We have a long-standing relationship and, now formalised, this will allow us to support the Board in furthering their social action and interfaith work. We look forward to connecting Mitzvah Day to nearly 300 deputies, and to encouraging and facilitating even more interfaith social action around the country and hope that in the near future we will be able to run our annual Mitzvah Day Parliamentary Launch event together again when restrictions are lifted.”
The Jewish Vegetarian Society is an international charity dedicated to promoting a kinder world by spreading awareness of the benefits of rejecting cruelty to animals and by providing support to vegetarians and vegans. Director Lara Balsam said: “With ever-increasing demand for our services, we are delighted to be able to represent Jewish vegetarians and vegans on the Board. We are looking forward to developing even more partnerships across the community as our centre, the first Jewish vegan hub in the world, prepares to reopen post-lockdown.”