On 24th February 2014 the London Jewish Forum hosted several London Assembly Members on a tour of Jewish London.
Enabling London Assembly Members to see the community in action, the participants heard directly from chosen community representatives and were able to ask questions, whilst gaining insight into the operations. Assembly members included Andrew Dismore AM, Barnet and Camden; Joanne McCartney AM, Enfield and Haringey; Murad Qureshi AM, Londonwide; and Navin Shah AM, Brent and Harrow.
Beginning with a tour of JW3 by the CEO, Raymond Simonson, the participants heard the philosophy behind the establishment ofJW3. They were then taken to visit the Independent Jewish Day School, where they met Rabbi J Ebrahimoff, Head Teacher and Lady Kestenbaum, Deputy Head Teacher. Alastair Falk, Executive Director of Partnerships for Jewish Schools gave an in depth explanation on the context of Jewish Schools in London. The Assembly Members then toured the school and observed pupils learning about their current fair trade project. The last stop on the tour was a visit to Jewish Care, Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus. Participants were met by Daniel Casson, Assistant Director of Business Development and Lisa Wimborne, Head of PR and External Affairs. Daniel and Lisa showed the Assembly Members around the multi-purpose building and then led a discussion on the social care policy challenges currently facing the Jewish community.
Feedback given was that the tour was highly successful and praised by both the participants and those whom they had met. It showcased the vitality of the community and also highlighted the challenges it faces. The London Jewish Forum are organising a series of these tours to enable many Assembly Members to see the community in action and strengthen their relationships.
Comments on the tour:
Gabi Kobrin, LJF Public Affairs Director said:
“This tour was vital to ensure that London Assembly Members deepen their understanding and relationships with institutions and organisations in the London Jewish community. We value their time and interest in us in order to continue to develop a strong and cohesive working relationship between City Hall and the Jewish community in London.”
Rabbi Ebrahmioff, Head teacher of Independent Jewish Day School said:
It was a privilege to host the Assembly Members in our school. This special visit was an opportunity to celebrate our achievements as a school and build further links with other communities who face similar challenges and aspire to achieve common goals.
Lisa Wimborne, Head of PR and External Affairs for Jewish Care said:
“We were delighted to be able to welcome the GLA Assembly members and staff from the London Jewish Forum to our Maurice and Vivienne Wohl campus. This has been a fantastic opportunity to both showcase and discuss our approach to meeting the welfare and social needs of the community.”
“Funding of local social care services has been hit hard by austerity cuts, the impact of these are felt heavily by the already over stretched NHS. We called on the assembly members to reinforce the value of good social care for both recipients and the economy and to use their powers to ensure a more strategic approach to health and social care provision in the capital”
Navin Shah, AM said:
“I was hugely impressed with the JW3 building designed with the concept of openness and inclusivity. From the visit it was evident that JW3 is a resource for all communities – thus celebrating London’s diversity as well as being totally inclusive. Overall, I was overwhelmed in the way the high quality facilities and services are provided to the members of the Jewish community of all age groups ranging from children, to the elderly and the survivors.”
Joanne McCartney AM said:
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to be invited to the Tour of Jewish London by the London Jewish Forum yesterday. Part of the tour included visiting JW3, a new Jewish cultural centre which was very impressive, open and a vibrant addition to the wider local community. I would recommend that local people visit this great new centre.”
Andrew Dismore AM said:
“I am grateful to the London Jewish Forum for the opportunity to visit JW3 and to renew acquaintances at Independent Jewish Day School and Jewish Care. I think the range of Jewish life was well illustrated by this snapshot afternoon visit and I’ve put forward various ideas for a repeat afternoon for Assembly Members to see other Jewish institutions and activities.”