In the presence of communal leaders and its new President Lord Mendelsohn, the Commonwealth Jewish Council held a reception at the House of Lords on Thursday 19 November to mark the launch of its new publication ‘Shared values, common causes’. The reception took place as the organisation continues its restructuring which will see a greater regional focus with an emphasis on supporting small communities throughout the Commonwealth.
Guests including Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi of the the S&P Sephardi Community Joseph Dweck, Acting Israeli Ambassador Eitan Na’eh and Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush gathered to hear from the CJC’s CEO Clive Lawton as he set out his vision for a reenergised organisation focused on small communities and an enhanced network of English speaking Jewish diplomats from existing member organisations. To mark the occasion, CJC trustee Laura Marks OBE presented an award to George and Lyn Walton from the Cayman Islands who have built a synagogue for the benefit of their small community.
Another example of the work the CJC aims to support is a Mitzvah Day give-blood drive in Jerusalem with Magen David Adom, bringing together gap year students from three of the Commonwealth’s largest communities, Britain, Australia and Canada with UK Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey.
President Lord Mendelsohn said: “I’m delighted that the Commonwealth Jewish Council has now been strengthened with regional leadership from the great communities of Australia, Canada, South Africa and the UK. As well as being able to harness the talents of professional staff in our member organisations, we will also benefit from the fantastic quality and reach of our Executive Board of Regional Presidents, including Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies.
Our award recipients, Lyn and George, exemplify the best of community leadership – building a Synagogue and vital community infrastructure – and it is in small communities like these where we can have a real impact. In the diaspora we will also be able to articulate our unique voice as Jewish communities spanning the 53 countries of the Commonwealth which share common values as outlined in our new publication.”
CEO Clive Lawton said “I’ve long been involved with the CJC and its wonderful to see the ready enthusiasm with which communities around the world have embraced our new enhanced vision of a rich network of communities, some infinitesimally tiny, some many hundreds of thousands, learning from each other, supporting each other, sharing good ideas and enriching our capacity to give to the wider world. Writing our new publication ‘Shared Values, Common Causes’ revealed to me how much there is to do and how much we can do together.”
Headed by President Lord Mendelsohn and trustees Nigel Cohen and Laura Marks OBE, the CJC’s European Regional President is Jonathan Arkush. CEO Clive Lawton heads a team of directors including Maureen Gold and Regional Director for Europe, David Walsh. More details about the organisation and its activities will be available soon on the CJC’s new website. For more information, or to receive a copy of ‘Shared Values, Common Causes’, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the Cayman Compass newspaper report on the award, click here