At the time of writing this piece Israel is under continuous rocket attack and there is no prospect of a cease fire. I hope and pray that by the time this is read the situation will have settled. I am writing to you with what will be my final Rosh Hashanah address, as my term as President comes to a mandatory end in May next year. Being President has given me many pleasing moments and enormous pride. I am delighted that the Board has made so much progress so that we now have a first rate team led by a first rate CEO, Gillian Merron, and soon hopefully will be housed in first rate up to date
premises. Our discussions with the JLC for a unified organisation of the community continue but, whether on its own or as a part of a wider organisation, the Board has a bright future.
None of what we achieve would be possible without our dedicated Deputies, from across the UK – I thank them for their hard work: they represent their constituencies and are vital to the functioning of UK Jewry. Needless to say, the Board exists on money from individuals in the community - half of which comes from the Communal Levy: still, less than half of synagogue members pay the relatively small sum of £25 a year to support our work. I think that the message here will support the fact that we are deserving of that contribution.
We are helping to counter BDS, witnessed by our close work with the Methodist Church leadership which led to a oratorium around BDS activity;
We are protecting Jewish education through our lobbying ministers, such as the right to teach Ivrit as a first language;
We are promoting Judaism through our revamped Jewish Living Experience exhibitions and Tours, in which thousands of non- Jewish children learn about our faith every year;