UK Jewish umbrella suspends membership from EJC due to sexual abuse allegations

The acquisitions of this leader have never been reported to law enforcement.

From left: European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilăl, Raya Kalenova of the European Jewish Congress and Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog (photo credit: SERGEY KAMINSKY)
From left: European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilăl, Raya Kalenova of the European Jewish Congress and Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog
(photo credit: SERGEY KAMINSKY)

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has suspended its membership with the European Jewish Congress because of sexual abuse allegations against one of its senior members and its failure to take action, according to a source close to the organization. 

“The Board of Deputies of British Jews has suspended all activities with the European Jewish Congress due to concerns about how the Congress is handling misconduct complaints,” the BOD wrote on Facebook on Wednesday

The BOD would not comment on the reason for the suspension, but it is believed that this relates to a senior member of the EJCongress, who, despite allegations of sexual abuse of women and children, has retained his position. For months, the BOD has demanded decisive action, particularly after this member was connected to multiple allegations of sexual assault.

“There is a failure of EJC to take action, such as instigating an investigation or to seek to put safeguards around this leader’s activities in relation to ongoing humanitarian work, such as exposure to vulnerable young women, etc.,” said a source familiar with the Congress.

Lack of accountability

The accusations against this leader have never been reported to law enforcement. Members of other European Jewish organizations have looked into the matter without reaching any conclusion on the allegations of sexual abuse.

 Rabbis of the EcoSynagogue steering committee, with Rabbi David Mason in the middle, Board of Deputies CEO Michael Wegier, and Board of Deputies Social Action Manager Anthony Silkoff. (credit: Lahav Harkov) Rabbis of the EcoSynagogue steering committee, with Rabbi David Mason in the middle, Board of Deputies CEO Michael Wegier, and Board of Deputies Social Action Manager Anthony Silkoff. (credit: Lahav Harkov)

"[We] deeply regret the decision of the Board of Deputies of British Jews to end its activities as an affiliate and completely rejects claims that it has mishandled alleged complaints."

European Jewish Congress

“The EJC views very seriously any breaches of ethical conduct and will always act immediately to maintain the highest standards of any of its associates. We will not be commenting further on this issue at the current time in order not to prejudice the outcome of any independent investigation,” the EJC said in a statement.  

The suspected leader has said that the allegations are entirely false, and that they were proven to be false by Jewish community leaders.