The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies is recognised by the NSW government, its agencies, NGOs, unions, the media and other ethnic, cultural and religious groups as the representative roof-body of the Jewish community. It leads, speaks and advocates on behalf of the NSW Jewish community, with 56 major communal organisations as its constituents.
The governing body of the Board of Deputies is the elected plenum of 142 deputies, which meets monthly to consider issues of communal importance. Half of the Deputies are elected every two years by general franchise and half are appointed by the constituent organisations. The plenum elects an Executive, which conducts the organisation’s administration.
Our goal is a united NSW Jewish community, adequately resourced, enjoying physical and political security as part of a harmonious, inclusive and democratic Australian society. More specifically, we work to:
- Ensure the political and physical security of the NSW Jewish community
- Combat antisemitism and other forms of racism
- Increase understanding of Israel and its centrality to Jewish life
- Promote social inclusion of all segments of NSW society
- Maintain the unity and cohesion of the NSW Jewish community
- Ensure the continuity of a vibrant NSW Jewish community
Jewish Communal Appeal (JCA)
The Board of Deputies was a founding member of the JCA, and the Board of Deputies president is a JCA governor, Executive member and member of the JCA Planning Committee. The JCA was established in 1967 as a coordinated fundraising appeal to enable an equitable distribution of communal funds. Of the Board’s constituents 22 are members of the JCA.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ)
This is the national roof-body of the Australian Jewish community. The Board of Deputies became a constituent shortly after it was founded in 1945 and provided the ECAJ’s second president, Saul Symonds, who served from 1946-1948.
As the Jewish community’s peak body, the ECAJ is charged with establishing, administering and implementing policy on issues of concern to the Jewish community at national and international levels.
The Board of Deputies is represented on the ECAJ’s Committee of Management by nine elected councillors and its incumbent president, who serves as the ECAJ’s senior vice president. The presidency of the ECAJ rotates between Sydney and Melbourne.
Ethnic Communities Council of NSW (ECC)
The Board of Deputies first joined as an affiliate of the Ethnic Communities’ Council in the 1970s. Since then, it has remained an active constituent, with representation at both executive and senior management levels.
The ECC is a non-government body, representing thousands of members of ethnic communities throughout the state. It operates on a voluntary basis and is run democratically by its members. Its primary roles are advocacy, education and community development. It promotes the principles of multiculturalism and lobbies for the development of a culturally inclusive society in NSW.
The ECC is involved in issues relating to the welfare and status of ethnic communities. It contributed to the establishment of organisations including the former Ethnic Affairs Commission of NSW (now called Multicultural NSW), the Federation of Ethnic Schools, the Association of Translators and Interpreters and SBS Radio and Television.
NSW Jewish War Memorial
The Board of Deputies is represented on the NSW Jewish War Memorial by four councillors, who are elected annually. The War Memorial owns and administers premises which operate as the NSW Jewish War Memorial – one of the community’s most valuable capital assets.
Opened in 1965, this three-storey office-block houses various communal institutions, including the Board of Deputies. The president of the Board of Deputies is also the honorary president of the War Memorial.
Policies and statements
Policy on Anti-Racism July 2004
Statement on Child Abuse July 2004
Statement on Work Family Balance June 2005
Policy on Older People August 2005
Policy on People with Disabilities July 2006
Statement on Domestic Violence October 2006
Statement on Missionising and Messianic Activity December 2006
Statement on Reconciliation May 2007
Statement to mark Reconciliation Week May 2007
Statement on Rwandan Genocide July 2007
Policy on Local Government and International Relations September 2007
Policy on Counteracting Hatred and Discrimination against LGBT persons April 2010
Statement on Child Abuse Royal Commission November 2012
Statement on Updated Refugee Policy September 2013
Resolution on same-sex marriage September 2017