Around 200 councillors from around London heard a message of zero tolerance to antisemitism at a seminar yesterday organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the London Jewish Forum and the Jewish Leadership Council.
Local representatives heard from Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman that ‘ignorance is no excuse’ if politicians signal to their supporters the antisemitic trope that the Jewish community is involved in conspiracies.
Councillors watched a video message from Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick, who thanked the Jewish community for all its efforts in supporting the vulnerable during the pandemic, including reaching out to neighbours and growing Mitzvah Day into Mitzvah month.
Mr Jenrick said: “Our Faith communities together with our partners in local government have been at the forefront of the national response to the pandemic, and I am immensely grateful for your extraordinary efforts.”
Meanwhile, in his video message to the councillors, Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Steve Reed, said: “The EHRC report showed why the Labour Party has lost so much trust in the Jewish community. Every single one of us has a special responsibility to repair that broken relationship and show beyond doubt that we will no longer tolerate antisemitism in the Labour Party.”
Co-Chairs of the London Jewish Forum Adrian Cohen and Andrew Gilbert said: “We would like to thank councillors from across London for attending Jewish London, a seminar for councillors. We are delighted that almost every London council took part, with 10% of our capital’s councillors in attendance. It’s vital for councillors understand the issues facing the Jewish communities that they serve, and we hope they gained a valuable insight into how they can engage with their Jewish communities moving forward. Together with our partners at the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council, we look forward to continue connecting our local Jewish communities and councils.”
Co-Chief Executive, Jewish Leadership Council Claudia Mendoza said: We were delighted to put this week’s councillor seminar together alongside our partners at the Board of Deputies and London Jewish Forum. The seminar provided an opportunity to magnify and amplify the work of the Jewish charitable sector and educate councillors from across London on the needs of the Jewish communities they serve. We would like to thank our member organisations for giving up the time to represent our community and we look forward to continuing our engagement with local government across the country.
Councillors attended sessions on antisemitism, Israel, education, social care and volunteering and organisations.