Leeds Jewish Representative Council are celebrating receiving a grant of nearly £200,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund.
Thanks to a successful National Lottery bid the Leeds Jewish Representative Council (LJRC) secured £193,596 funding from the National Lottery’s Community Fund, which will go some way in recruiting a community volunteer and engagement officer for the next three years.
The successful applicant will be responsible for recruiting, coordinating and training volunteers within the community. They would also work closely with the rep council’s 50-plus affiliated organisations to identify and fulfil their voluntary requirements by matching them with suitable volunteers.
The news followed a cross-community meeting of over 150 people in late 2019, discussing “what conversations can we have today that can make a difference to our Jewish community tomorrow?”. Small groups shared stories about when they felt most proud to be a member of the community, and examples included appreciating the community’s already enviable infrastructure and reflecting on key Jewish values, to recognising how these core qualities can pave the way for future initiatives.
The themes that were addressed included: how to make the Leeds Jewish community an attractive place to live, how to engage younger people in community institutions and how to teach non-Jews in Leeds about Judaism. Leaders from each conversation completed a pro forma that summarised the key points of their conversation which will go on to form a robust cross-community action plan coordinated by the LJRC.
Lisa Baker, president of the LJRC, said: “This is an exciting opportunity that will help bring fresh ideas and a new energy to our community. For the first time, our community will have someone dedicated to meeting the needs of those who want to fulfil the values of their faith in a meaningful and impactful way.
She added: “Increasingly, we have been moving more towards sharing resources and working more collaboratively with our partner organisations, and the role of the community volunteer and engagement officer places this at the very heart of what we aim to achieve.
“We believe working together can make us thrive as a community in the long-term.”