Pollard to head new European think-tank
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.