Jewish Leadership Council

The Jewish Leadership Council (previously known as the Jewish Community Leadership Council) is an organization in the United Kingdom, founded in 2003, whose declared aim is to forward the interests of the organised Jewish community in Britain. The council was founded by its first Chairman, then President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Henry Grunwald and an array of other senior UK Jewish leaders. The council acts as an umbrella group for various Jewish community organizations, charities, Zionist and pro-Israel advocacy groups.[2]

Jewish Leadership Council
Registration no.1115343
PurposeThe Jewish Leadership Council is a Jewish charity which brings together the major British Jewish organisations to work for the good of the British Jewish community.
HeadquartersShield House,
6 Harmony Way,
Hendon, London
Region served
United Kingdom
Jonathan Goldstein
Chief Executive
Claudia Mendoza and Michelle Janes (jointly)
£2,905,344 (2013)[1]


The JLC states that its mission is:

to work, through our members, to ensure the continuity in the UK, in this and future generations, of a mainstream Jewish Community (that) is:

  • Vibrant and Vital;
  • Safe and Secure;
  • Assured of its place within British Society;
  • Proud of its Jewish identity and culture, and;
  • Confident in its support for Israel
  • and to provide a range of sustainable services for the benefit of the whole community.[3]

Leadership and management

On 1 June 2009, after taking office as President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Vivian Wineman became the second Chairman of the council. In July 2009, Mick Davis, Chairman of the United Jewish Israel Appeal was appointed as the first Chairman of the council's executive committee. In 2017, Sir Mick Davis stepped down as Chair of the JLC.[4]

In May 2017, Jonathan Goldstein was elected as his successor.[5]

Jeremy Newmark (former spokesperson for the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks) was appointed as Chief Executive of the JLC in January 2006.[6] Under Newmark, the organisation increased its expenditure from £192,000 in 2007 to £2,782,000 in 2013.[7] He was succeeded by former Football Association Executive Simon Johnson in 2013. Claudia Mendoza and Michelle Janes were appointed joint chief executives in 2020.[8]


The JLC brings together the most senior lay leaders of the major institutions in each sector of UK Jewish life. Membership includes the Chairs and Presidents of synagogue movements, leaders of the main charities, welfare organisations and representative bodies as well as a group of Vice-Presidents comprising a number of Jewish VIPs and individual leaders such as Lord Levy, Sir Ronald Cohen, Lord Woolf, Lord Fink, Sir Trevor Chinn, Leo Noe, and former Board president and politician Lord Janner of Braunstone.

In July 2009 Conservative Party Treasurers Howard Leigh and Stanley Fink joined the council as individual members and Michele Vogel, President of WIZO UK, became an organisational member.

The Jewish Leadership Council's member organisations are the major institutions of British Jewish life. Together, they touch on every aspect of Jewish life, from synagogues to social care organisations, political bodies to youth movements, community centres and charities. The JLC believes that bringing these different perspectives together helps joined-up and coherent thinking about the Jewish community. Together we are stronger, able to draw on each other's expertise and support each other.[9]

The JLC's current constituent members are:[9]

Cross Communal Group


The Jewish Leadership Council has been criticised as self-appointed and unaccountable by major Jewish organisations, including the Jewish National Fund.[10][11] When, in January 2019, the JLC reiterated its call for a “unified communal structure” with the Board of Deputies, after a previous merger proposal was rejected in 2015, Board leader Marie van der Zyl said that "the representative body that speaks for the community must have the legitimacy and accountability that comes from being broad based, democratic and elected." Deputies have in the past noted that, while Board honorary officers are accountable to deputies, who themselves are accountable to their constituencies, the JLC had no such governance structure.[12]

In February 2018, The Jewish Chronicle published an internal audit report into the conduct of Jeremy Newmark, while he was CEO of the council between 2006 and 2013, that alleged that he deceived the council out of "tens of thousands of pounds". The Jewish Chronicle claimed the council had covered up the former CEO's alleged behaviour, and accepted a resignation on the grounds of ill health. Newmark denied any wrongdoing, though he resigned as Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement two days later.[13][14] The Charity Commission stated it had not been informed of these allegations of financial impropriety in 2013 which raised serious potential regulatory concerns which they were assessing.[15] In March 2018, a three-member panel, with Charity Commission approval, began investigating the allegations.[16] In February 2019, a police investigation was also opened.[17] The panel later said that they could not quantify any missing funds due to the absence of key documents and records. The police closed their investigation in March 2019.[18]

Activities and reports


In July 2008, the Council published a major report on the future of Jewish schooling in the UK.[19][20][21]

In early 2010, the Council's Schools Strategy Task Force launched a web portal promoting Jewish faith-based schools in the UK.[22]

In September 2011, the Council published a report on the impact of its 2008 Commission on Jewish Schools, and the work of the JLC Schools Strategy Implementation Group. The report was launched by JLC Vice-President Leo Noe and Secretary of State for Education, Nick Gibb at a gathering of 200 key figures from the Jewish schools sector. The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Policy Exchange Chairman Daniel Finkelstein also spoke at the launch. The report announced the establishment of a new central agency for Jewish schools.


In December 2006, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews formed the Fair Play Campaign Group, a pro-Israel advocacy organization. The Fair Play Campaign coordinates activity against anti-Israel boycotts and other anti-Zionist campaigns.[23]

In December 2009, the Council sought and published a legal opinion from Lord Pannick advocating a change in UK law to prevent the issuing of arrest warrants against Israeli leaders without prior consent of the Attorney General.

In June 2011, together with BICOM and the Board of Deputies, Council Chair Vivian Wineman, Chair of Trustees Mick Davis and CEO Jeremy Newmark, met Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss developments in the Middle East.[24][25]

Other issues

In September 2010, the council published a paper warning that the new Equalities Act could expose Jewish charities to a higher risk of discrimination claims.

In December 2010, the council advised the government on its Big Society agenda. In talks with Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government it elicited a commitment that Jewish faith-based charities should not have to dilute the Jewish elements of their ethos. The council published a report[26] on this topic which contained recommendations to both the UK Jewish voluntary sector and the Government.

On 16 January 2012, the council met with prime minister David Cameron. The meeting covered topics including the Middle East peace process, equalities legislation, terrorism and antisemitism, Jewish schools, shechita (religious slaughter), circumcision, and the Big Society.[27]

Community organisation

In 2008, the council launched the 'New Leadership Network', a project designed to create a forum for the development of the next generation heads of the major agencies of the UK Jewish community.[28]

In February 2010, the council hosted a UK visit for Barry Shrage, President of Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies, one of the most effective fundraisers in the Jewish world.[28]

In October 2010, following a governance review, a 'joint liaison committee' was established to formalise relations between the JLC and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.


  1. "Charity overview".
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "About Us". Jewish Leadership Council. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  4. "Sir Mick Davis to stand down as JLC Chair". The Jewish Leadership Council. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  5. "Jonathan Goldstein approved as head of JLC". Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  6. "New role for chief man". 2 December 2005. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  7. Rocker, Simon (8 February 2018). "Jeremy Newmark: A man of power and ambition". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  8. Frot, Mathilde (17 September 2020). "Two desks, two leaders, one top communal job". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  9. "Members". The Jewish Leadership Council. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  10. "JNF UK resigns from Jewish Leadership Council". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  11. "JNF Chief attacks JLC: New community leaders are 'much needed'". Jewish News. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  12. Millis, Joe (8 January 2019). "Jewish Leadership Council seeking 'unified communal structure'". Jewish News. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  13. Harpin, Lee (8 February 2018). "Revealed: JLC audit reports Jeremy Newmark deceived it out of thousands of pounds". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  14. Brown, David (10 February 2018). "Labour activist Jeremy Newmark resigns in row over charity expenses". The Times. London. Retrieved 12 February 2018. (subscription required)
  15. Cooney, Rebecca (9 February 2018). "Regulator assesses allegations against ex-chief of Jewish Leadership Council". Third Sector. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  16. "Charity Commission backs JLC investigation over Jeremy Newmark". Jewish News. 30 March 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  17. "Police investigating ex-JLC CEO Jeremy Newmark over alleged fraud after independent review".
  18. Harpin, Lee (28 March 2019). "Jeremy Newmark protests his innocence after police drop investigation". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  19. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. "New educational role". 20 September 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  21. Plc, Totally (2 March 2012). "News - National". Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  22. "Find a Jewish School".
  23. "Dons to consider Israeli boycott". BBC NEWS. 30 May 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  24. "Foreign Secretary meets leaders of the Jewish Community". GOV.UK. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  25. "President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews".
  26. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. Bright, Martin (19 January 2012). "Clegg ups rhetoric on settlements to Abbas's delight". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  28. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 April 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)