Board of Deputies’ racial inclusivity commission appeals for written evidence
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Board of Deputies’ racial inclusivity commission appeals for written evidence

A survey is being shared across schools, youth movements, synagogues and other communal organisations

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies
Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies

The Board of Deputies is appealing for written submissions to its commission on racial inclusivity within the Jewish community.

Written testimony can be submitted online by filling in a survey – which is being shared across schools, youth movements, synagogues and other communal organisations.

Oral evidence meetings with Black Jews, non-Black Jews of Colour and Mizrachi Jews have already begun, the umbrella group said.

The commission, chaired by New Statesman political editor Stephen Bush, is now also seeking evidence from British Jews with Black spouses or partners and non-Jewish Black people working or volunteering in Jewish communal spaces.

Also accepted are submissions from Black Jews and Jews of colour living abroad.

A safeguarding protocol is in place to support any children seeking to share their testimony, the Board of Deputies said.

The commission’s findings will be discussed with Jewish denominations, schools and other groups – and a set of recommendations with a timeline for implementation will be unveiled after a six month period.

Stephen Bush, Political editor of the New Statesman, will chair the Board of Deputies’ Commission on Racial Inclusivity.

Bush said: “I want to thank all of the Black Jews, non-Black Jews of Colour and Mizrachi Jews who have already come forward to give oral evidence to the Commission.

“We hope that by launching our survey for written evidence, this will even further expand the pool of witnesses, to help me and the Board of Deputies reach our goal making the Jewish community an unequivocally anti-racist environment, that is more welcoming and inclusive to Black Jews, non-Black Jews of Colour and Mizrachi Jews.”

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Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl, said the Jewish organisation is “already seeing some positive changes” since launching the commission, such as the delivery of unconscious bias training for all deputies and members of staff.

Racial inclusivity surveys have been run across several synagogue movements, she added.

“We know that we still have a long way to go and we hope that people will respond to today’s call for written evidence to help power this journey to a more welcoming and inclusive Jewish community,” she said.

If you wish to give oral evidence, email commissionchair@bod.org.uk or the secretariat on anthony.silkoff@bod.org.uk.

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