The Board of Deputies has set out the scope and timeline of its unprecedented commission into racial inclusivity in the community.
This comes after Black British Jews and Jews of Colour were invited to give evidence about their experiences of discrimination in the community, in wake of anti-racism protests sweeping the globe, sparked by the death of George Floyd.
The Commission will be chaired by the New Statesman’s political editor Stephen Bush, and will report its findings in six months, before issuing a series of recommendations and suitable period for implementation.
It will issues under three broad headings of ‘Representation, Leadership and Media’, ‘Creating Welcoming Communal Spaces’ and ‘Education, Training and Attitudes’.
As well as holding oral evidence sessions for Black Jews, non-Black Jews of Colour and Mizrachi Jews, it will invite British Jews with Black spouses or partners, as well as non-Jewish Black people who work within the community, to speak out with written testimony.
Inviting people to “get in touch with us to share their experiences”, Stephen Bush, Chair of the Commission, thanked “Black Jews, non-Black Jews of Colour and Mizrachi Jews who have worked with us so far to develop the scope and Terms of Reference for this Commission.”
No project of this kind has ever been undertaken, so there is no clear road map to follow, but with the guidance of the many passionate people who have come forward we have created a platform that will assist our work in making the Jewish community an unequivocally anti-racist environment, that is more welcoming and inclusive”.
Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, paid tribute to Bush for having designed a “a pioneering process that will help our community to fight racism and become a more welcoming space. He can count on our full support as he takes forward this crucial endeavour over the coming months.”