The CJC works to connect and support Commonwealth Jewish communities and represent them on the wider international stage.
CJC provide direct support to thirty-eight existing Jewish communities across the Commonwealth. Over thirty are across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean holding our most small and vulnerable communities often operating in extremely dangerous environments. Some carry out Jewish practices without a synagogue building or a Rabbi to offer any leadership and guidance.
Jewish communities are able to maintain their religion and culture, and offer a way for Jewish life even in hostile environments from direct support from CJC. Small grants are allocated to build capacity, and we help to ensure delivery and the development of skills and knowledge within the communities.
Lord Mendelsohn, President, and the Vice-Presidents of the Commonwealth Jewish Council are delighted to announce that Jewish communities in Cameroon and Guernsey have affiliated to the CJC.
The CJC is a growing, vibrant family and we are proud to be represent across even more of the Commonwealth. We will continue to advocate on behalf of all of our communities, and on issues affecting us all.
We were proud to host a Commonwealth Diplomatic Model Seder, led by CEO Clive Lawton at Westminster Synagogue, specially designed to give our Commonwealth colleagues and friends an authentic encounter with this ancient and meaningful Jewish tradition.
The themes that the Passover Seder explores – in slavery, freedom, antisemitism and hope in the future – remain contemporary and relevant today. Thank you to our wonderful attendees who fully got into the Seder spirit.
We were delighted to welcome representatives and guests from the Church of England, the High Commissions of Australia, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Dominica, St. Lucia and Botswana, as well as colleagues from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Centre for Commonwealth Affairs, the Royal Commonwealth Society, Commonwealth Education Girls Fund and the Commonwealth Foundation.
On behalf of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, and our President Lord Mendelsohn, we wish all of our communities, a Chag Peseach Sameach!
It is with tremendous sadness that we share with you the news that our former much-valued partner in our work, Ann Harris, has passed away.
Ann was an indefatigable activist, making the world richer for her involvement. She always spoke truth to power – preserving the legacy of her late husband, Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, and pursuing her own concerns and passions, which always related to the marginal, disadvantaged or ignored. In the CJC we highly valued her relentless concern for the small communities all around Africa, accepting their challenges as her charge.
She was a pillar of this generation of Jewish, and will be remembered as good-humoured, far-sighted, determined, loving, and indifferent to the recognition that so obviously was her due.
Baruch Dayan Ha-emet
10 March 2023
The CJC would not exist without our 38 communities, across the Commonwealth and from five continents. Together with our communities and on their behalf we work hard to ensure all are able to celebrate the Jewish religion, culture and maintain Jewish life safely. We do this through a number of ways, from funding Jewish programming, diplomatic engagement and campaigning.
Our Climate Champions programme brings together representatives from across our communities to work on the climate crisis we are facing. By combining extensive knowledge and ideas, the group works to develop new initiatives to combat climate challenges on a community level.
The Commonwealth Jewish Women’s Network is tapping into a diverse pool of talented women across the Commonwealth to form a vibrant international community for Jewish women to connect, contribute and grow.
The Network’s exceptional women are confronting the issues and challenges facing women and our communities today in areas including Women in Leadership, Social Action, Inter-faith Action, Women in the Workforce, the Environmental Challenge and Jewish Education in Small Communities.
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CJC works to protect and preserve Jewish life across the Commonwealth through advocacy.
Our priorities are combating antisemitism, strengthening ties between Jewish communities, and ensuring that Jewish voices are present in the discussions on a range of issues that impact our global community.
We have adopted as our primary advocacy focus areas the championing of small islands states in their challenges posed by climate change and as well as leading efforts to have the IHRA definition of antisemitism adopted by governments and non-governmental organisations throughout the commonwealth.
The CJC was represented at the peoples forum, and the womens forum at CHOGM 2022