Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Julia Neuberger’

Julia Neuberger Champions Volunteering

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 28th January, 2010

The Liberal Democrat peer, Rabbi Julia Neuberger, was the guest speaker at Islington LibDems’ pizza and politics last night. The original idea had been that she would be interviewed by the Leader of Islington Council, Terry Stacy, but he was bedridden with flu. In the discussion, Baroness Neuberger was asked how she got on as an advisor to the Labour government a while back, when Gordon Brown was trying to assemble a government of all the talents, or GOATs (as opposed to the sheep that make up most of his Cabinet). She said that her personal relationship with the Prime Minister was good, having worked with him professionally on various issues when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, and her experience as an advisor was happier than that of her fellow LibDem peer Anthony Lester, QC. Perhaps, she surmised, this was largely because there was much greater consensus on the topic of her consultancy: volunteering. She is a strong advocate of the value of volunteering, not last within the National Health Service, and she believes that it will inevitably take on a more important role as our population ages, meaning more frail elderly in need of personal care, but also more fit older people with time on their hands. She also underlined the success of one project she had been involved in, which was to encourage government departments to allow their civil servants to volunteer in working time. This had greatly improved their job satisfaction and performance, she said.


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Prominent British Jews Oppose Gaza Offensive

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 11th January, 2009

julia_neuberger     There is an imporant letter in today’s ‘Observer’ from almost a dozen leading British Jews — including the LibDem peer, Rabbi Julia Neuberger — calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, with international monitoring of the ceasefire agreement. The signatories — who also include form Labour Party Chairman Sir Jeremy Beecham, the philanthropist Sir Sigmund Sternberg and the academic Professor David Cesarani — declare that ‘it is our desire to see a durable solution for ordinary people and our view that an immediate ceasefire is not only a humanitarian necessity but also a strategic priority for the future security of Israelis, Palestinians and people of the region.’

While naturally suporting Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks, the authors ‘are concerned that rather than bringing security to Israel, a continued military offensive could strengthen extremists, destabilise the region and exacerbate tensions inside Israel with its one million Arab citizens.’ Hear, Hear!

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