How often have we been asked ‘what does the Rep. Council do?’.
Answer: many, many things.
Here are the dry details from our constitution:
a) To provide through the Council opportunity for collaboration and co-ordinated action on the part of Jews of Greater Manchester and Region.
b) To protect Jewish interests in Greater Manchester and Region and to make and carry out such arrangements as may be deemed desirable to that end.
c) To co-ordinate the activities of Jewish Institutions in Greater Manchester and Region whenever for common purposes the same be desirable and practicable.
d) To co-operate in the furtherance of Jewish interests elsewhere than in Greater Manchester and Region in so far as may be deemed advisable.
e) To do all things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects, or any of them, or as may seem best calculated to advance the interest of the members.
f) To receive, hold and distribute funds for the benefit ofJewishand other charities.
g) The Council may from time to time receive monies for distribution toJewishor other charities, or hold monies on trust for Jewish or other charities on such terms or conditions as the Council shall in each case deem appropriate, and the Council may enter into trust deeds and appoint members of the Council to act either by themselves or with other persons as trustees.
But it’s much more than that.
The council organises or assists in organising major community events such as:
the Community Challenge Quiz
It also sponsors the annual Sherman lectures, produces a magazine RepResents and its famous Yearbook.
The JRC has its own Business networking group JNetManchester.
Members of the Council are involved in all areas of community life and representing the Jewish community to the wider community.
It is involved with interfaith work, protecting the religious rights and interests of the community, liaising with CST, the police and politicians at a local and national level.
The Council is active in defending Israel from delegitimisation, boycott and all forms of anti Israel or anti-Zionist attack.
The Council also works closely with the Board of Deputies in London and the Jewish Leadership Council where it is represented on both bodies.
Much educational work is also undertaken to teach the wider community about Jews and Judaism and counter prejudice and misconception.
So you see, it’s not just a talking shop, it’s a very active, committed and influential body working for the good of the community and representing all that is best about the community in Manchester and Region.
The Jewish Representative Council is a lay body which represents, defends, protects and promotes the best interests of the Jewish Community, to promote harmonious relations with all sectors and communities in the Greater Manchester Region to promote Jewish Education, Heritage, Culture and to work for the benefit of society in general.
The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester & Region (formerly the Council of Manchester and Salford Jews) was established in 1919. It has a long and distinguished record of service working to secure the welfare of the community and its future development.
The membership of the Council comprises:
Representatives (all of whom are elected annually) of the religious, social, cultural, educational, welfare, charitable and faith organisations that collectively comprise our community, and all members of The Board of Deputies of British Jews and Jewish magistrates, councillors, Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament who live in or serve the Greater Manchester Region and choose to serve as members of the Council.
The Honorary Officers (President, two Vice-Presidents, Treasurer and two Honorary Secretaries) and the Executive Committee are elected annually.
The Council usually meets in open session on the first Sunday of each calendar month, except August and is the forum where communal concerns of every kind can be publicly debated, and, if thought fit, acted upon.
Members of the community can attend but cannot take part in the proceedings unless specifically invited to do so. Only Council members are entitled to vote on the issues debated. The Council provides a mechanism to foster cooperation, coordination, collaboration and joint action between all the organisations in the community, and has also established a number of committees that undertake a variety of work. A key priority for the Council has been to encourage the development of a growing range of services, particularly to meet both the formal and informal educational needs of young people.
The Council has always campaigned in support of other Jewish communities in need, distress or danger. In January 1919, it concerned itself with the ill treatment and repression of Jews in Poland and in 1982 the Council launched another appeal for Polish Jewry. The Council campaigned against Nazi persecution before and during the Second World War and for Soviet Jewry in the 1970s.
The community maintains many strong links with Israel and in recent years we have been seriously concerned how events there have been reported in the British media.
At national level, the Council has a well-established and close working relationship with both The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Representative Councils Northern Forum. A comparatively recent innovation has been the participation of our President in the (national) Jewish Leadership Council.
We work closely with local authorities, local education authorities, the Greater Manchester Police, hospital trusts and other bodies to secure the needs, interests and concerns of members of the community. The Council has a longstanding and well-established tradition of facilitating and fostering the development of harmonious relations with other faith communities, working closely with the Manchester branches of the Council of Christians and Jews, the Hindu Jewish Association and the Muslim Jewish Forum as well as through other less formal contacts.
The Council works to enhance and promote the development of health, welfare, cultural, educational and social services for all parts of the community. It has played a key part in establishing the Manchester Jewish Community Project. This has overall responsibility for a major research project to develop a strategic view of the community’s future development.
The Council is constantly alert to the challenge of anti-Semitism and racism and endeavours to present a fair and informed picture of local Jewry to the wider community of which we are part; and deals with day-to-day community concerns as they arise. Successive Presidents, supported by their Honorary Officers, have been increasingly active, working both with mayors, other civic leaders, personalities, authorities and organisations in the wider community both to develop contacts and to strengthen goodwill and understanding.