Pol­lard to head new Euro­pean think-tank

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

A NEW in­sti­tute is be­ing set up in Bri­tain to in­ves­ti­gate Euro­pean an­tisemitism, with back­ing from lead­ing Jewish agen­cies.

The Euro­pean In­sti­tute for the Study of Con­tem­po­rary An­tisemitism (EISCA) will be chaired by Stephen Pol­lard, po­lit­i­cal colum­nist with The Times and Daily Mail.

Mr Pol­lard — who is also pres­i­dent of a Brus­sels-based think-tank, the Cen­tre for the New Europe, and au­thor of a re­cent bi­og­ra­phy of David Blun­kett — told the JC: “It oc­curred to quite a few of us that no-one is do­ing se­ri­ous re­search in the UK into con­tem­po­rary an­tisemitism.”

The new in­sti­tute, which will be up and run­ning “in weeks”, will have “a web­site to high­light ex­ist­ing re­search, but we will also com­mis­sion our own work,” he said.

EISCA will be a free-stand­ing body but its ex­ec­u­tive re­flects the ex­tent of sup­port from es­tab­lished Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tions: apart from Mr Pol­lard, its board will com­prise Jeremy New­mark, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil (JLC), Mark Gard­ner, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust, and Jon Ben­jamin, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Board of Deputies.

Chair of its ad­vi­sory board is Rabbi Dr Sid­ney Brichto, act­ing di­rec­tor of the Is­rael-Di­as­pora Trust. Its part-time di­rec­tor will be Dr Win­ston Pick­ett, com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sul­tant to the Board of Deputies and for­mer me­dia con­sul­tant to the In­sti­tute for Jewish Pol­icy Re­search .

Mean­while, the JLC has set up a new ve­hi­cle to han­dle po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tions which, as a char­ity, it is un­able to carry out it­self, to be known as the Jewish Ac­tiv­i­ties Com­mit­tee (JAC).

The JAC’s first direc­tors are to be Henry Grun­wald, pres­i­dent of the Board of Deputies, Sir Trevor Chinn and Brian Kerner — all JLC mem­bers — and Poju Zablu­dow­icz, chair­man of the Bri­tain Is­rael Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Re­search Cen­tre (Bicom). Lead­ing phi­lan­thropist Trevor Pears is also un­der­stood to be join­ing them shortly.

The JLC is also fi­nal­is­ing a planned ini­tia­tive to groom fu­ture Jewish lead­ers, in­clud­ing the re­vival and ex­pan­sion of the so-called Cavendish Group, an in­for­mal cir­cle for Jewish ac­tivists in the 35-50 age range.

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