The peo­ple shap­ing Jewish life in Bri­tain

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

LAST YEAR we asked read­ers to help us iden­tify the 100 peo­ple who ex­ert the great­est in­flu­ence on Bri­tish Jewry. Many re­sponded, nom­i­nat­ing on the grounds of re­li­gious or cul­tural im­pact, fi­nan­cial back­ing, or sup­port­ing those who have shaped per­cep­tions of the com­mu­nity in the wider world.

An ex­pert panel spent weeks dis­cussing your sug­ges­tions and adding some of their own. The re­sult was the in­au­gu­ral JC Power 100, which was topped by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks.

For our 2008 list, we again in­vited you to nom­i­nate — whether to keep your favourites in the 100 or bring in some fresh faces.

A largely new panel from the com­mu­nal and po­lit­i­cal spheres has con­sid­ered your se­lec­tions, pas­sion­ately de­bat­ing “who is in and who is out” — and this year, “who is up and who is down”. They were look­ing for peo­ple with “in­flu­ence” within the com­mu­nity — as op­posed to wealth, fame, or wider in­flu­ence.

To­day we start by re­veal­ing num­bers 100-67. Over the next two is­sues, we shall con­tinue the count­down to num­ber one.


67(New) “Ge­of­frey Co­hen” is the col­lec­tive pseu­do­nym for rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the sub­ver­sive Jewish group. It came to wider at­ten­tion in 2006 when four mem­bers were ar­rested at the Sim­cha in the Square cel­e­bra­tion in Trafal­gar Square on sus­pi­cion of dis­sem­i­nat­ing an­tisemitic ma­te­rial — fly­ers for a “Pro­to­cols of the El­ders of Hack­ney” party. Po­lice de­cided not to press charges. A more re­cent event fea­tured ob­scure films on Jewish an­ar­chists, “ex­treme Jewish food” and “Jewla hoop­ing” (Jewish hula-hoop­ing, ob­vi­ously). Once promised a talk from Lord Levy on “fraud, an­tisemitism and where to buy in Tot­teridge”. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the peer didn’t show. (New) The low-profile busi­ness­man who has built up the UK fran­chise of Hamodia news­pa­per from small be­gin­nings to be, in the view of many, the main voice of the strictly Ortho­dox com­mu­nity. Writ­ing in this month’s 10th-an­niver­sary mag­a­zine of Bri­tish Hamodia, Mr Sto­bi­et­sky de­fines its aim as pro­vid­ing “kosher read­ing for the whole fam­ily... It is im­por­tant that peo­ple should see the Charedi world in a pos­i­tive light”. He is also help­ing to es­tab­lish Hamodia in France.



(63) As project di­rec­tor of the Chief Rabbi’s Of­fice, Leonie Lewis has been step­ping-up its in­ter­faith in­volve­ment and pro­mot­ing the Is­rael — Home of Hope CD, fea­tur­ing songs se­lected by the Chief Rabbi. She was ap­pointed af­ter mak­ing an im­pact within the United Syn­a­gogue as di­rec­tor of its com­mu­nity-de­vel­op­ment group, help­ing to re­vive fad­ing con­gre­ga­tions and es­tab­lish new ones such as Bron­des­bury.


70(New) In con­vey­ing the Re­form Move­ment’s mes­sage, Mike Gra­biner, 57, brings to bear a wealth of com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­pe­ri­ence. The one-time chief ex­ec­u­tive of tele­coms com­pany En­er­gis is a se­nior mem­ber of the tech and tele­com team at in­vest­ment house Apax Part­ners. The Cam­bridge grad­u­ate and for­mer Brent Labour coun­cil­lor was brought up within the United Syn­a­gogue fold, but his re­li­gious com­pass changed on meet­ing his wife Jane, who was from a Re­form home. He is work­ing to en­tice the young un­af­fil­i­ated, opin­ing: “I think the Re­form approach is one of Bri­tish Jewry’s best hopes”.


71(New) An up-and-com­ing name as key con­trib­u­tor to the well-re­garded Harry’s Place blog, which is sym­pa­thetic to Is­rael, if at times crit­i­cal, and ex­poses what it sees as left-wing hypocrisy. In pro­fes­sional life, the Ox­ford-ed­u­cated blog­ger is an as­so­ci­ate at the Lon­don of­fice of in­ter­na­tional law firm Cleary Got­tlieb, where he spe­cialises in Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Author­ity re­quire­ments to which reg­u­lated com­pa­nies are sub­ject. He has also au­thored le­gal guides and lec­tured in law at Queen Mary Col­lege, Univer­sity of Lon­don.


72(New) A power within the Stam­ford Hill com­mu­nity, and be­yond, as pol­icy man­ager of In­ter­link, the um­brella body for the Charedi vol­un­tary sec­tor, which is highly thought of in gov­ern­ment cir­cles. Prior to join­ing In­ter­link in 1999, she co­or­di­nated Chizuk, a sup­port agency for those with men­tal­health prob­lems. In a 20-year ca­reer in the char­ity sec­tor, she has also de­vel­oped ser­vices for peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and been in­volved in the man­age­ment of a ma­ter­nity-sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tion.


73(30) A beloved com­mu­nal elder, the widow of Chief Rabbi Im­manuel Jakobovits main­tains a busy diary, giv­ing en­ter­tain­ing and of­ten chal­leng­ing talks to groups young and old. An undi­min­ished com­mit­ment to Holo­caust ed­u­ca­tion re­flects her back­ground as a refugee from the Nazis. The 79-yearold main­tains in­volve­ment in a range of women’s and wel­fare or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing Emu­nah, Jewish Care, Chai Can­cer Care, the League of Jewish Women and Wizo.


74(New) Prom­i­nent this year as key peace­maker in re­solv­ing the con­flict be­tween JNF UK and Is­rael-based in­ter­na­tional KKL, which had threat­ened to set up a ri­val fundrais­ing op­er­a­tion in the UK. A prop­erty man, phi­lan­thropist and art col­lec­tor who di­vides his time be­tween the UK and Is­rael (where he was born in 1953), he is es­tab­lish­ing a con­tem­po­rary art cen­tre in the heart of old Jaffa to pro­mote young artists. His diplo­matic skills were pre­vi­ously de­ployed as an ad­viser to Ariel Sharon and as a mil­i­tary spokesman for the IDF.


75(46) The vet­eran phi­lan­thropist re­mains a per­sua­sive voice on in­ter­faith is­sues. A past re­cip­i­ent of the Tem­ple­ton Prize for Progress in Re­li­gion, Sir Sig­mund, 86, was a founder of the Three Faiths Fo­rum, bring­ing to­gether Jews, Mus­lims and Chris­tians, and is a pa­tron of the In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Chris­tians and Jews. Has also made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the Re­form Move­ment of which he is life pres­i­dent, hav­ing es­tab­lished the Sternberg Cen­tre in Finch­ley as a venue for re­li­gious, ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties.


76(92) Al­though he will be less in­flu­en­tial af­ter May 1 if he loses the Lon­don may­oral race to Boris John­son, Mr Liv­ing­stone, 62, has im­pressed the Charedi com­mu­nity with his ap­pre­ci­a­tion of its hous­ing prob­lems and his sup­port for new projects. He has raised the prospect of a Charedi pres­ence in the pro­posed ma­jor de­vel­op­ment of the Thames Gate­way. In the short-term, he has held talks with com­mu­nity lead­ers about pro­vid­ing big­ger houses for the strictly Ortho­dox. How­ever, many Jews find it dif­fi­cult to for­give his liken­ing of Evening Stan­dard jour­nal­ist Oliver Fine­gold to a con­cen­tra­tion-camp guard; in­sult­ing com­ments about busi­ness­men David and Si­mon Reuben; and his host­ing of con­tro­ver­sial Is­lamic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.


77(New) Re­cruited by Gor­don Brown to ad­vise on so­cial pol­icy, the fi­nancier and char­ity sup­porter is no stranger to the head­lines, most re­cently about the col­lapse of hus­band Ron Beller’s hedge fund in the global credit crunch. The me­dia had a field day over the 2004 court case when the then Gold­man Sachs in­vest­ment banker and her hus­band had more than £1 mil­lion stolen from them by Ms Moses’s per­sonal as­sis­tant — with­out ei­ther of them re­al­is­ing. In 2002 she helped es­tab­lish Ark, a Lon­don-based in­ter­na­tional chil­dren’s char­ity, and has re­port­edly chan­nelled £2 mil­lion of her own money through Ark into the King Solomon Academy in Maryle­bone.


78(New) A big year for the for­mer Leo Baeck Col­lege prin­ci­pal and Re­form Move­ment per­son­al­ity. He is the ed­i­tor of the new edi­tion of the Re­form Sid­dur, Forms of Prayer, and is also in the fore­front of Mus­lim-Jewish di­a­logue in the UK. Rabbi Magonet, 65, en­thu­si­as­ti­cally en­dorsed a re­cent ini­tia­tive by prom­i­nent Mus­lims here and abroad for “peace, di­a­logue and un­der­stand­ing be­tween Jews and Mus­lims”.


79(100) Move­ment up the list re­flects the qual­ity and pop­u­lar­ity of Jewish Book Week un­der her stew­ard­ship. The crowds con­tin­ued to sup­port the event this year de­spite the late with­drawals of star speak­ers such as Zadie Smith and Jon Ron­son. Pre­vi­ously cul­tural at­taché at the French Em­bassy in Lon­don, where she was in­stru­men­tal in pro­mot­ing Fran­cophile writ­ers. Our judges com­pli­mented her as “a good coali­tion-builder”.


80(New) The for­mer di­rec­tor of Heron in­ter­na­tional is the “fixer’s fixer”, help­ing to en­sure the de­liv­ery of Ger­ald Ron­son’s com­mu­nal projects. He has a fin­ger in many pies, in­clud­ing the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil and JCoSS, the cross-com­mu­nal sec­ondary school

due to open in East Barnet in 2010. An­other ed­u­ca­tional role is the chair­man­ship of Bri­tish ORT. Mr Gold­man is a Stan­more Syn­a­gogue mem­ber.


81(69) With on­go­ing prob­lems for Jewish stu­dents on cam­pus from Mus­lim and left-wing el­e­ments, much rests on the out­go­ing and in­com­ing UJS chairs. Near­ing the end of her chair­man­ship, Jes­sica Tru­man took sat­is­fac­tion in a pos­i­tive NUS con­fer­ence in Jewish stu­dent terms. Her suc­ces­sor har­nessed the power of the new me­dia in a pro­duc­tive “Vote Pikey” elec­tion cam­paign on Face­book and YouTube. His youth-move­ment ex­pe­ri­ence takes in RSY and FZY.


82(New) A mover and shaker within the Charedi com­mu­nity. The Gold­ers Green busi­ness­man and Jewish Tri­bune colum­nist is the driv­ing force be­hind the youth sum­mer camps for the strictly Ortho­dox, which have been run­ning for over 30 years. The camps to­day cater for 250 young­sters, many from dis­ad­van­taged back­grounds. His vol­un­tary work ex­tends to in­de­pen­dent mar­riage coun­selling.


83(New) Hailed as the “Barack Obama of An­glo-Jewry” by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Brawer is a ris­ing star of the Ortho­dox world. He is en­joy­ing a larger con­gre­ga­tional au­di­ence fol­low­ing his move from North­wood Syn­a­gogue to El­stree and Bore­ham­wood. De­scribed by the Chief as “the most laid-back, non-judge­men­tal rabbi” he knew, the Bos­ton-born, Mon­treal-raised min­is­ter en­deav­ours to com­bine To­rah learn­ing with open­ness to “the wis­dom of the wider world”. He is a mem­ber of the Chief Rabbi’s cabi­net with re­spon­si­bil­ity for Jewish-Mus­lim re­la­tions and a reg­u­lar JC con­trib­u­tor.


84(85) The hedge-fund spe­cial­ist con­tin­ues to sup­port Is­rael and other Jewish causes through a range of char­i­ta­ble means. Among his in­ter­ests are Holo­caust ed­u­ca­tion, the home­less and Is­raeli film — the Alan Howard Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion is among the spon­sors of the UK Jewish Film Fes­ti­val. The Has­monean old boy is not from a strictly Ortho­dox back­ground, but his Jewish ethos has been in­formed by friend­ships with rab­bis. He is the founder of the £10bn Lon­don hedge fund Bre­van Howard, whose in­ter­ests in­clude emerg­ing mar­kets, rein­sur­ance, wa­ter and health­care.


85(67) Labour MP for Liver­pool River­side since 1997, the 62-year-old is prob­a­bly Is­rael’s staunch­est sup­porter in an of­ten hos­tile Com­mons. She came to West­min­ster af­ter lead­ing Lan­cashire County Coun­cil. Her var­ied re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­clude sit­ting on the Trans­port Se­lect Com­mit­tee, a vi­cepres­i­dency of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, and board mem­ber­ship of Mersey­side arts and cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tions. She also chairs the Jewish Labour Move­ment, the suc­ces­sor or­gan­i­sa­tion to Poale Zion, and is a Labour Friends of Is­rael vice-chair.


86(New) Born in Lon­don and or­dained in Gateshead, Rabbi Grunfeld is an adult­e­d­u­ca­tion pi­o­neer as the founder, in 1980, and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Project Seed. It runs around 50 weekly cen­tres at­tended by over 2,000 adults, as well as week­end sem­i­nars and coun­selling ser­vices. It also led the way in the or­gan­i­sa­tion of week­end ed­u­ca­tional re­treats. Its schemes in­clude One to One, of­fer­ing stu­dents a learn­ing pro­gramme tai­lored to their needs.


87(New) Al­though some con­sider the Board of Deputies a di­min­ished force th­ese days, its di­rec­tor-gen­eral has the ear of many in gov­ern­ment. A so­lic­i­tor by pro­fes­sion, Jon Ben­jamin came to the Board af­ter five years as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bri­tish ORT. Much younger, at 43, than his pre­de­ces­sor Neville Na­gler, he is read­ily ac­ces­si­ble and has brought a mod­ernising hand to the Board’s work­ings which has been ap­pre­ci­ated within and out­side the or­gan­i­sa­tion.


88(79) Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael di­rec­tor since 1989, Stu­art Po­lak over­sees all as­pects of CFI’s strat­egy, main­tain­ing reg­u­lar con­tact with Con­ser­va­tive lead­ers, whom he briefs on Is­raeli is­sues. An ef­fec­tive be­hind-the-scenes lob­by­ist, he was a key mover be­hind Bore­ham­wood’s Yavneh Col­lege, which opened in 2006. With his colours tied to David Cameron’s mast, a Tory elec­tion vic­tory would in­crease his in­flu­ence.


89(New) Chief ex­ec­u­tive and a ma­jor player in the de­vel­op­ment of the Lon­don Jewish Cul­tural Cen­tre, which of­fers a di­ver­sity of ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties from its state-of-the-art base at Ivy House, Gold­ers Green. Over 1,300 peo­ple pass through its doors each week for day and evening cour­ses, events for young pro­fes­sion­als and to hear speak­ers from the arts and other spheres. An en­er­getic pres­ence, she con­stantly asks: “How can we do this?” Ex­pert in Jewish his­tory, she is ed­i­tor-in-chief of the teach­ing re­source pack Lessons of the Holo­caust.



91(New) The long-serv­ing min­is­ter of Manch­ester's White­field Syn­a­gogue was cited by the judges for his wider com­mu­nal role, par­tic­u­larly in the cre­ation of in­no­va­tive em­ploy­ment projects for Charedim — for ex­am­ple, vo­ca­tional cour­ses in sub­jects such as ac­coun­tancy. An­other goal has been work­ing to­wards an in­fra­struc­ture for Jewish learn­ing to be avail­able for all ages and abil­i­ties. He founded and has main­tained an in­ter­link­ing ros­ter of ed­u­ca­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions through the White­field shul “cam­pus”.



93(New) A tax spe­cial­ist with ac­coun­tants BDO Stoy Hay­ward, Daniel Dover is a re­spected and well-con­nected worker for causes across the Jewish spec­trum. A forth­right per­son­al­ity with a wicked sense of hu­mour, he ad­vises char­i­ties on fi­nan­cial is­sues and helps or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Charedi schools in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the tax­man. Al­though he likes to keep a low profile, he is a reg­u­lar at fundrais­ing din­ners and a fre­quent vis­i­tor to Is­rael. Au­thor of War or Peace: Skir­mishes with the In­land Rev­enue. (New) A ris­ing name as head of the Roth­schild Foun­da­tion (Europe), es­tab­lished in 2000 as the Hanadiv Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion. The foun­da­tion sup­ports the de­vel­op­ment of Jewish cul­ture and iden­tity, the preser­va­tion of Jewish sites and doc­u­ments, and char­i­ties work­ing to ad­vance equal­ity and civil rights. She has pro­fes­sion­alised its op­er­a­tions by cre­at­ing projects, par­tic­u­larly in East­ern Europe. Holder of a BA and MSc in Mid­dle East­ern pol­i­tics and po­lit­i­cal the­ory, she has worked for the Min­erva Cen­tre for Hu­man Rights at the He­brew Univer­sity and Shatil, the New Is­rael Fund’s cen­tre pro­mot­ing democ­racy, tol­er­ance and so­cial jus­tice. (New) Busi­ness­man and big cheese in Sephardi cir­cles in the UK and abroad. Born into a wealthy Iraqi fam­ily, he moved to Iran in the late 1940s and spent time in Is­rael. He and his wife came to Eng­land af­ter the Ira­nian revo­lu­tion. The Naima JPS Pri­mary School in Maida Vale, West Lon­don, is among his Bri­tish in­volve­ments.


94(New) Chief ex­ec­u­tive of World Jewish Re­lief, which has forged a rep­u­ta­tion for its global wel­fare work for needy Jews, par­tic­u­larly in East­ern Europe. He has brought wide-rang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to the role, hav­ing man­aged Red Cross global dis­as­ter re­sponse op­er­a­tions in Africa, South-East Asia and Kosovo.




97(New) Di­rec­tor of the Pears Foun­da­tion and in­stru­men­tal in ad­vanc­ing its agenda, which places strong em­pha­sis on a com­bi­na­tion of Jewish val­ues, so­cial ac­tion and hu­man rights. The 31-yearold was po­lit­i­cal ad­viser to colour­ful Lib­eral Demo­crat MP Lem­bit Opik be­fore briefly work­ing for the Pears fam­ily prop­erty busi­ness. He was the first em­ployee of the Pears Foun­da­tion. (New) A so­ci­ol­ogy lec­turer at Gold­smiths Col­lege, Univer­sity of Lon­don, David Hirsh es­tab­lished the En­gage web­site to counter left-wing and trades-union anti-Zion­ism and an­tisemitism. He was also to the fore in the cam­paign to re­verse the aca­demic boy­cott of Is­raeli univer­si­ties. (New) The 47-year-old North Lon­doner is the co-founder of Lon­don Mac­cabi, the UK’s largest Jewish foot­ball club, which runs seven men’s teams and 27 ju­nior sides (aged seven-18) . He is also a trustee of Row­ley Lane Mac­cabi, which owns a 47-acre sport­ing fa­cil­ity in Arkley, Herts. Traded on the LIFFE mar­ket from its in­cep­tion in 1982 and set up The Kyte Group in 1985.


98(New) Pres­i­dent of the League of Jewish Women, one of the com­mu­nity's un­sung vol­un­tary-ser­vice groups. In­tro­duced to vol­un­teer­ing as a child, ac­com­pa­ny­ing her mother on vis­its to the el­derly in res­i­den­tial homes, she was at­tracted to the League be­cause it works both within and out­side the Jewish com­mu­nity. Trained as a so­cial worker, Mrs Marks went on to lec­ture in so­cial work and was an Open Univer­sity tu­tor for many years.


99(New) The non-Jewish Barnet Coun­cil leader and Tory Par­lia­men­tary can­di­date for Finch­ley and Gold­ers Green has worked to build links with the Jewish com­mu­nity, high­light­ing on his per­sonal profile his mem­ber­ship of Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael and in­volve­ment in the Barnet Mul­ti­faith Fo­rum.


100(New) Since her first novel, The Cast Iron Shore, in 1996, Linda Grant, 57, has won six ma­jor lit­er­ary awards and been short­listed for two more. The child of Rus­sian and Pol­ish im­mi­grants has writ­ten reg­u­larly on Jewish themes. Her latest work, The Clothes On Their Backs, tack­les is­sues in­clud­ing the Holo­caust, racism and the dilemma fac­ing Jewish refugees to Bri­tain — main­tain a low profile, or seize on op­por­tu­ni­ties.


Louise Ell­man


Ken Liv­ing­stone


Jon Ben­jamin


Lady Jakobovits

Adam Pike

Ella Marks

Linda Grant

Rabbi Jonathan Magonet


Mike Gra­biner


Samuel Hayek

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