New Jewish Leadership Council chief sets out his stall

New Jewish Leadership Council chief sets out his stall

Jonathan Goldstein presents his manifesto at a JLC hustings, before he succeeds Sir Mick Davis as chair of the organisation

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Jonathan Goldstein
Jonathan Goldstein

The man soon to be endorsed as head of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) has set out a bravura eight-point plan to overhaul the Jewish community – and a prediction that he can save £10million by streamlining the more than 2,000 current Jewish charities.

Jonathan Goldstein presented his manifesto at a hustings event for JLC, for which he is now the only candidate as chairman. He will succeed Sir Mick Davis who stood down earlier this year.

Addressing a hand-picked audience at Western Marble Arch Synagogue, representing many of the 32 JLC constituents, Goldstein spoke passionately about “the need to eradicate duplication” and the waste of resources.

He said he believed the JLC had “a duty” to work together to pool resources, and announced one of his first acts would be to establish a task force, chaired by a business leader to identify ways the community could work “together, rather than in silos”.

Ilford-raised and educated at Manchester University, the father-of-four has a long history of communal service. He is currently chair of the JLC’s education division, Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), and is a former vice-chair of Jewish Care and one-time governor of Kerem School.

Part of his manifesto, he said, included an aim to represent all of the community, not just part of it. He wants to bring more women on board as well as representatives of the LGBTQ community, but he also said he wants to “build bridges” with the Charedi community, projected to form 50 percent of British Jewry by the end of the century.

One of Goldstein’s major interests is education and he said that some of the difficulties faced by Jewish students attempting to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on campus was due to a lack of detailed knowledge about the history of modern Israel.

He also addressed the question of relations between the JLC and Board of Deputies. While he hoped, he said, to have a good relationship with the Board president, he made it clear both organisations would have to “cede responsibilities” to each other. He also announced the JLC expected to lead a huge, community-wide celebration of Israel’s 70th anniversary next year.

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