Last updated: November 28, 2023
President Marie van der Zyl issued this message following the attacks.
The Board of Deputies has produced guidance for Jewish teachers and parents of Jewish children in non-Jewish schools. Vice-President Edwin Shuker also wrote to headteachers and governors of non-Jewish schools, in particular those with significant numbers of Jewish pupils.
The Board of Deputies has been in touch with political and religious leaders, receiving several letters of support, including from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
President of the Board of Deputies wrote to the Director General of the BBC expressing dismay at the broadcaster’s refusal to define Hamas as ‘terrorists’, despite being a proscribed terrorist organisation by the UK Government. Additionally, Marie wrote to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport calling for an urgent review of BBC editorial guidelines. Following this correspondence, the Board of Deputies met with the Director General, where it was confirmed that it is no longer BBC practice to call Hamas 'militants'. We also instructed our solicitors, Mishcon de Raya, to make a formal complaint to Ofcom regarding the BBC’s refusal to refer to Hamas as terrorists.
Marie van der Zyl wrote to the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, thanking him for calling out the BBC on its refusal to refer to Hamas as terrorists, and asking him to help facilitate flights for stranded British citizens who wish to return home. This was subsequently accomplished. Marie has also written to him reiterating the need to proscribe the IRGC, which has directly funded, trained and armed Hamas.
The Board of Deputies has been liaising closely with MPs from across the political spectrum with regard to the situation in Israel.
The House of Commons held a minute’s silence on Monday 16th October for the victims of Hamas’s atrocities, following a recommendation from the Board of Deputies.
Chief Executive Michael Wegier spoke to LBC about the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel. Michael, who was in Israel at the time of the attack, also wrote an oped in the Jewish News about his experiences.
The Board of Deputies has been in constant contact with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). They have emphasised that it is vitally important that UK nationals in Israel register with them here. The booking portal for government-assisted departures is now closed. International commercial flights are still departing from Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv and Ramon airport in Eilat, but are limited and may be cancelled at short notice.
To call for consular assistance, please use the following numbers:
The Board of Deputies, together with communal partners UJIA, CST, Jami, PaJeS, Resource, as well as the Jewish Agency and Embassy of Israel, arranged an online meeting with information for Israelis on support that the community is able to provide. Watch the event below (in Hebrew):
The Community Security Trust is working around the clock to keep the Jewish community safe. CST urges our community to be calm and resilient against antisemitic hatred. To see all updates and guidance, visit the CST website.
If you witness anything suspicious, please report this to police on 999 IMMEDIATELY and then CST. If you experience antisemitism, please report to police on 999 (if urgent) or 101 (non-urgent) and then CST.
CST’s 24-hour National Emergency Number is 0800 032 3263 – please put this number in your contacts so it is available if you need it.
Donate: The Board of Deputies is encouraging those wishing to donate to give money to Magen Dovid Adom UK and UJIA. You can also support the emergency appeals of WIZO and Emunah. There is no need for donated goods to be donated from abroad currently – the pressing need is for financial support.
Volunteer: Israeli Ministry of Health is building a list of medical personnel from abroad to volunteer in Israel should the need arise. Information about that is here. Contact the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN) to volunteer in the UK.
Support: You can sign We Believe In Israel’s statement of solidarity with Israel here.
We recommend against sharing rumours on social media, and only sharing facts from reputable sources.
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