Judging panel announced for JC Power list
The experts who will identify the British Jewish community’s movers and shakers
THE JC today names the expert panelists who — with readers’ help — will identify the 100 people who wield the greatest influence on the British Jewish community today. The JC Power 100, to be revealed in this newspaper late in February, will be a detailed guide to the people who currently have the most impact on British Jewry, whether through their religious or communal roles, cultural and social leadership, financial backing, or in shaping perceptions of the community in the outside world.
Readers have until the end of January to nominate names for the list. Each suggestion will then be considered by our expert panel, who will formulate the definitive Power 100 list.
The expert panelists include senior figures in communal life, as well as regular JC contributors. They are Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, principal rabbi of North Western Reform Synagogue in Alyth Gardens, North-West London, and past chairperson of the Rabbinic Conference of Liberal Judaism; Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer, rabbi of Northwood United Synagogue and the member of the Chief Rabbi’s cabinet responsible for Jewish-Muslim relations; Josie Dobrin, a PR consultant advising a wide variety of community and cultural organisations including Nightingale House, Kisharon and Weizmann UK; Stephen Goldman, the director of Independent Fundraising Limited, an experienced fundraiser who has held senior management positions for leading charities and advises two of the Prince of Wales’s charities; Rosalind Preston OBE, who describes herself as a “professional volunteer”, having been active in the voluntary sector for 45 years; Jon Mendelson, a business communications consultant, former chair of the Union of Jewish Students, adviser to Tony Blair MP and governor of Leo Baeck College; Danny Stone, director of the Coexistence Trust, political adviser to Lord Janner, and former UJS political organiser; Alex Brummer, city editor of the Daily Mail, JC columnist and vice chair of the international division of the Board of Deputies; and David Rowan, editor of the JC.
The panel is chaired by Ben Rich, a senior public-affairs professional who advises a wide range of Jewish community organisations on shaping perceptions and exercising influence across the community. He is a former chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel.
Ben Rich said: “Jews are not normally reluctant to put themselves forward, so the issue of where power really lies within the community can be clouded by those who just think they exercise influence. The challenge of understanding how decisions are really taken involves untangling a complex web of religious and community organisations, philanthropists and businesses, cultural and social meeting places. .
“In putting together the panel, we knew that there is not ‘one Jewish community’ but dozens of overlapping circles, into each of which it is necessary to shine a little light. We have intentionally avoided seeking to pretend the panel can represent every interest group; instead, there is a strong bias towards those whose job it is to un- derstand how influence works and real power is exercised and who work across a range of community organisations.
“Of course, money talks within the list, but there must be room for singing, chanting and even a little tabloid shouting.”
Readers’ nominations for consideration by the expert panel should be emailed to: JCPower100@thejc.com, or sent to: The JC Power 100, Jewish Chronicle, 25 Furnival Street, London EC4A 1JT. Remember, we are looking for the people who most influence the Jewish community itself, and not simply people who are successful or influential in the wider world. Please send your suggestions before January 31.
Among the panelists (from left to right): Nick Viner, Rabbi Naftali Brawer and Rosalind Preston OBE