Alex Goldberg

Boycotter blames the Board for antisemitism in Britain

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By Marcus Dysch

The Board of Deputies is to blame for rising antisemitism in Britain, according to a leading member of a Jewish anti-Israel group.

Tony Greenstein, of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG), was speaking on the BBC1 debate show, The Big Questions, on Sunday morning.

During the wide-ranging discussion, Mr Greenstein said: “Of course there’s no justification for antisemitism, but there’s also no justification for the Board of Deputies calling rallies in support of the invasion of Lebanon and Gaza in the name of the British Jewish community. That causes antisemitism.
“It associates every Jewish person with the terror in Lebanon and Gaza.”

Among those debating issues including the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and the need for synagogues to employ security guards, were Alex Goldberg, of the London Jewish Forum; Mark Gardner, of the Community Security Trust; and Israeli-born anti-Zionist Professor Haim Bresheeth.

Prof Bresheeth said many people in Britain were “justifiably irate about what Israel has done in Gaza”.

Jonathan Sacerdoti, of the Zionist Federation, responded by saying attempts to burn down shuls in London had “nothing to do with Zionism or Israeli policy in the Middle East”.

Hadar Sela, who has dual British-Israeli citizenship, said: “If you have a gripe with Israeli foreign policy then that’s great, you’re entitled to have a gripe with it, but come to me. I’m Israeli. Come and make your gripe with me, not with British Jews.

“When things happen in Sri Lanka or China nobody takes it out on Chinese or Sri Lankan people in Britain, and so they shouldn’t. They also should not take it out on British Jews.”

Following the broadcast, the Board of Deputies defended the peace rallies it helped organise in London and Manchester at the height of the Gaza conflict in January.

A spokesman said: “It is regrettable that Mr Greenstein doesn’t feel that there was any justification for the rallies. Fortunately we know of at least 17,000 people between London and Manchester who would disagree with him.

“British Jews are desperate for peace in Israel and desperate for an end to terror. The suggestion that we should expect to be victims of hate crime because of that is insulting and dangerous.”


Source URL: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/22078/boycotter-blames-board-antisemitism-britain

'Security' row over Munich tribute at 2012 'Security' row over Munich tribute at 2012

By Leon Symons

Allegations that a police trainer has labelled a proposed commemoration of the Munich Olympics massacre at the 2012 London Olympics "a security threat" have been vehemently denied.

An Islamic scholar, hired by Scotland Yard to train police on interfaith issues, had warned that a commemoration ceremony "could become a national security threat if it was not managed properly and was perceived by Muslims to be ‘hijacking' the Games", The Times reported this week.

The scholar, Sheikh Michael Mumisa, was addressing senior officers from the Yard's Transport Operations Command Unit during a two-day training course on faith and interfaith, held last month at the Woolf Institute for the Study of Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim Relations in Cambridge. The course was the first of its kind held by the Institute.

Its executive director, Edward Kessler, said: "Sheikh Mumisa's words have been twisted in a way that is not accurate. I know what was said because I was there throughout the course. We were very unhappy with what appeared because it did not reflect the course that the officers took.

"We are not experts in terrorism, we are experts in faith and interfaith and that's what they were here to learn. It was a very positive programme which dealt with subjects including antisemitism and Islamophobia.

"The possibility of a ceremony to commemorate the Munich Olympics massacre was mentioned as being key to the Jewish community. But it was discussed in terms of one type of commemoration being wholly appropriate and another being wholly inappropriate. The police would have to deal with the situation on the ground and the point was that they should be aware of the sensitivities of each faith community. It was certainly not talked of as a ‘national security threat' or the Games being ‘hijacked'."

Sheikh Mumisa was not at the Institute and could not be contacted for a comment. Eleven Israeli athletes were killed by the Palestinian Black September group at the 1972 Munich Games. The 2012 Games will mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.

Alex Goldberg, chief executive of the London Jewish Forum, said that any commemoration would be "up to the families of those who died, with the Israel Olympic Association and, ultimately, the International Olympic Committee to decide what it will be".



Source URL: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/7497/security-row-over-munich-tribute-2012

2012 Tribute to Munich Victims

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by Justin Cohen

Lord Janner is spearheading efforts to secure a minute's silence during the London Olympics in memory of the eight Israeli athletes killed during the Munich Games 40 years earlier.
The Labour peer, who sits of the Jewish Committee for the London Games, is hoping the tribute will take place during the opening or closing ceremony. It will be down to the International Olympic Committee to decide whether to take on the proposals.

"We will do our best to make sure that the memory of the victims of the Munich massacre are remembered in an appropriate way at the Games," said Lord Janner. "We hope that this will be marked in one of the olympic ceremonies as well as by the community and City of London."


The proposals are being supported by the JCLG, which also comprises the London Jewish Forum, Maccabi GB and UJIA. LJF chief executive Alex Goldberg said: "This will take a concerted international effort from politicians and sports associations, from both our community and outside of it."


It has previously been confirmed that a host city event will be held in memory of the victims. Two or three venues are currently being considered to host the ceremony, including Bevis Marks.


Meanwhile, 2012 organisers have asked the Jewish community to take a leading role in welcoming ceremonies for the Israeli Olympic and Paralympic teams in the Olympic village. JCLG hopes the event will see hundreds of young British Jews joining members of the Israeli team and IOC members.


Goldberg said: "This will be one of the main set piece events for Jewish youth in London. We are developing a programme to ensure that the entire community becomes involved through hospilitality events, sports programme, schools programme and volunteering opportunities before and during the Games."

Boris meets Forum chiefs

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By Leon Symons

Senior representatives of the London Jewish Forum discussed a range of issues with London Mayor Boris Johnson and his deputy Richard Barnes at City Hall on Tuesday night.
Housing provision in Stamford Hill and developing Jewish cultural events were among topics covered during the hour-long meeting.

Also on the agenda was establishing a common contract across London's boroughs for welfare services, which would help charities like Jewish Care.

LJF chief executive Alex Goldberg said afterwards: "It was a very constructive meeting from which we will be able to make significant improvements on Jewish life in London."


Source URL:
http://www.thejc.com/articles/boris-meets-forum-chiefs

FA Announce Respect Programme

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by Andrew Sherwood

The Football Association have announced plans for a zero tolerance policy towards anti-Semitism and Islamophobic behaviour at football grounds across the country, following a summit hosted by the Metropolitan Police at the end of last season.

The talks, which were held between The FA, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the National Association of Muslim Police, identified six key areas which will be addressed over the course of the new season: how stewards manage incidents; the way football grounds are policed; how incidents are monitored; strengthening reporting mechanisms; the role of referees, and community engagement and involvement in football.

The idea is to set our clear action plans through both the Anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia Group, with the group, which will be chaired by John Mann MP, scheduled to meet for the first time at the FA on 18 September.

Speaking on behalf of the London Jewish Forum, Alex Goldberg said: “The FA and Kick It Out have run a successful programme in combating racism in football, but anti-Semitism continues to exist in the game.

“This will be a high profile group which will be looking at combating anti-Semitism and we are looking forward to working on it.”
Maccabi GB will be one of those groups at their meeting, and their Chief Executive Martin Berliner said: “We welcome the fact that a structure has been put in place to address these issues and look forward to the meeting next month.”

To mark the launch of the Group, the Jewish News, together with the London Jewish Forum, in association with the FA are giving away five tickets for the England vs Czech Republic game next Wednesday evening at Wembley, as part of a multi-faith girls group attending the match. The winner can take one adult and three nominated friends the same age. The competition is only open to girls who are entering Years 5/6/7 at school. Nominated friends must be girls.


To stand a chance of winning, answer this question between 50-85 words: :How does sport bring communities together?


Send your name, name of parent/guardian, contact email address: and a phone contact of parent/guardian: The winner will be announced on Monday 18th at 13.00. All entries must be with Jewish News by 11.00 on Monday 18th. No entries will be considered past this point To enter the competition, go to
www.totallyjewish.com

Forum gains a chief exec

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By Leon Symons
The London Jewish Forum has poached a senior Board of Deputies administrator to be its first paid official.

Alex Goldberg, currently director of the Board’s community-issues division, has been appointed as the first executive director of the LJF and will take up the post later in the year.

LJF chairman Adrian Cohen said: “This marks a major step in the development of the forum. Alex brings with him enormous relevant experience in areas of community development and social cohesion that will enable us to advance our work in London.”

London Olympics to mark Munich killings

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by Leon Symons


A special event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes is to be held during the 2012 Olympics in London.


A new body called the London Olympic Jewish Organising Committee, set up to link the capital's Jewish community with the Games, has held preliminary discussions with the London Organising Committee, the Israeli Olympic Association, and has had an initial meeting with the Mayor of London's office.


Alex Goldberg, chief executive of the London Jewish Forum, which has helped set up LOJOC, said:
"We believe it is important that arguably the worst episode in Olympic history is marked in a most sensitive way.


"We are liaising with the Israeli Olympic Association, which is representing the families of those who died in the attack and I understand that it will be up to the families to decide ultimately what the commemoration should be.


"All of this is at a very early stage and everything will have to go before the International Olympic Committee," said Mr Goldberg. "So far, we have had very positive responses."


LOJOC has been formed initially by the Forum, Maccabi UK and UJIA. Mr Goldberg said it was hoped other communal organisations would join them.


The new committee will develop a programme of events around the Games for a number of different
purposes.


It wants to involve Jewish schools and their communities in meeting Jewish Olympians; the development of welfare, culture and religious services for Jewish athletes in the Olympic Village; a London 2012 Jewish website for visitors to the Games; the long-term legacy for the Jewish community within the five Olympic Boroughs and utilising sports to bring groups together and celebrate the cultural diversity of the city.


"This was a key platform that won London the bid in the first place," said Mr Goldberg.


"We know that in Atlanta and Sydney Jewish athletes visited members of the local communities, and we want to offer the same hospitality here for Jews who might be a long way from home."


The London Olympics Jewish Organising Committee is looking to involve the capital's community in the Games. It is already working with the Games Committee, Government, other communities in the capital and various Olympic Associations from Israel and other countries.

Source URL:
http://www.thejc.com/articles/london-olympics-mark-munich-killings