• APPG AGM photo

    All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews – 2016 AGM
    MINUTES

    22 MARCH 2016

    Room 460, PORTCULLIS HOUSE

    Attending

    Dr Matthew Offord MP (Chair – standing down: now Vice Chair)

    Oliver Dowden MP (Co-Chair), Wes Streeting MP (Co-Chair), Baroness Sarah Ludford (Vice Chair), Ruth Smeeth MP, Lord Alf Dubs, Tulip Siddiq MP

     

    SECRETARIAT (the Board of Deputies of British Jews)

    Jonathan Arkush, Phil Rosenberg, Dawn Waterman, Jack Thorpe Baker, Joel Salmon

     

    Apologies

    Rt Hon Gisela Stuart MP, Lord Monroe Palmer, Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Jonathan Djanogly MP, Rt Hon The Lord Dholakia, Graham Brady MP, Mike Freer MP, Ian Mearns MP, Baroness Julia Neuberger, Mike Gapes MP, Graham Stringer MP, Joan Ryan MP, Lord Leslie Turnberg, Luciana Berger MP

    1. Welcome and election of officers

    Matthew Offord welcomed attendees and officiated the election.

    The positions available were:

    • Co-Chairs
    • Vice Chairs
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary

      The following people were duly elected:

    • Co-Chairs: Oliver Dowden MP, Wes Streeting MP
    • Vice Chairs: Mike Freer MP, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Ian Mearns MP, Dr Matthew Offord MP, Lord Monroe Palmer, Rt Hon Gisela Stuart MP
    • Treasurer: Rt Hon David Lammy MP
    • Secretary: Bob Blackman MP

      2. discussion of previous year and programme for year ahead

    Dr Offord then handed over to to new Co-Chairs Oliver Dowden MP and Wes Streeting MP, who invited Phil Rosenberg from the secretariat to give some opened the discussion for members to suggest possible future projects:

    Phil Rosenberg discussed the most significant events pertaining to the APPG and some initial suggestions for the year ahead:

     

    • Last year – General Election meant that we paused activities.
    • Chanukah Reception was a success, with over 80 parliamentarians and leading speakers from the four major parties.
    • New Parliamentary Officer Joel Salmon taking over in July, with a major focus on growing the APPG and helping it to fulfil its full potential in the new parliamentary year.
    • There was a suggestion of a briefing on the Charedi / Strictly Orthodox community, which was met with interest from members.
    • We are also likely to prioritise education, as Jewish schools and schools of other faiths seem to be under near constant attack from people hostile to faith.
    • In previous years, we have organised briefings on religious freedom issues like kosher meat, debates on Holocaust restitution, engaging in cross-party lobbying on tax credits, speaking events at Limmud Conference, and organised Jewish school visits to Parliament.
    • There has been a suggestion that we put more of a focus on issues around Jewish culture and issues like Jewish freedoms in the workplace – and last year we launched the Employer’s Guide to Judaism.
    • A number of Jewish social action and social justice charities have expressed an interest in our partnering with them to highlight issues as well.
    • It was suggested that the APPG organise trips to Jewish infrastructure, which attendees approved of.
    • Ruth Smeeth MP suggested working jointly with specific APPGs, (e.g. APPG Against Antisemitism) on issues of security and interfaith/dialogue, and ensuring not to duplicate.
    • Baroness Sarah Ludford advised the APPG organise events abroad, for instance in Brussels, to engage more broadly with international organisations.
    • Oliver Dowden MP proposed a ‘community heroes’ campaign, to highlight important work done by local constituency figures, with a reception for such heroes in Parliament.
    • Tulip Siddiq MP suggested an event with Mitzvah Day.
    • President of The Board Jonathan Arkush thanked members for their continued support and the encouraging progress the APPG has made over the last year, which is noticed and appreciated by the UK Jewish community.