CST Northern Dinner
10 November 2015
250 supporters of CST attended its annual Northern Dinner, in a leading Manchester city centre hotel on the evening of 9 November 2015.
The guests heard about the vital work of CST, and the reasons for it, in speeches from Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP); Garry Shewan QPM, Assistant Chief Constable of GMP; and Jonathan Fischer, vice chairman of the Danish Jewish community, who played a leading role in responding to the terrorist attack upon the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen.
CST Manchester Chairman Mike Edelson welcomed the guests, noting how the evolution of terrorism now meant that:
“The threat has never been so widespread, so immediate and so unpredictable. That’s why everything is much worse today: and that’s why CST has to keep on raising its game at every turn.”
Mike Edelson welcomed Ian Hopkins, recently appointed Chief Constable of GMP. The Chief Constable spoke warmly of the excellent relationship between GMP and CST, stating:
"I have a really good relationship with CST in Greater Manchester. I'm proud of the work we do together and you have my word that we will continue to work together in tackling hate crime and preventing terrorism.
CST and the Jewish community are a shining light to other communities here in Greater Manchester."
CST Chief Executive David Delew introduced Garry Shewan, Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) of GMP, explaining that the ACC’s work with the region’s Jewish community had led the model for such policing across the UK; and was repeatedly cited by CST in leading international fora. ACC Shewan is Lead Officer on Jewish related issues for the National Police Chiefs Council. His presentation explained the current situation and how Police and CST work together to counter it:
"The threat to the Jewish community in the UK is a very real threat. It is one you can see and feel. It is something that we know is there and is happening. It is something that we cannot and should not ignore…
Here in the UK Jewish communities feel more confident, they feel that people are wanting to solve this problem and to make them safe. This is not the case in other parts of Europe. The reason why we feel safer here in the UK is based on three values: communication, commitment and trust."
"CST's work alongside the police service is something that makes the UK unique in tackling antisemitism….Racial prejudice, antisemitism, hatred of those who are different has no place in Greater Manchester and no place in the United Kingdom."
“CST's very existence and its partnership with the police service is what is going to make the difference in keeping us safe…I am proud to be here as a friend of CST and a friend of the Jewish community."
Next, CST’s Northern Regional Director Amanda Bomsztyk spoke of her work with the Danish Jewish community, in the immediate aftermath of the 15 February 2015 terrorist attack upon the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen: in which Dan Uzan Z’’L was murdered whilst protecting a Bat Mitzvah celebration inside the synagogue. Dan was a well-known and popular communal security volunteer, equivalent to the many men and women who volunteer for CST across the UK.
Amanda also showed our guests a very powerful short film that was made by CST’s Danish counterparts, and uses CCTV footage from before, during and after the terrorist attack to explain the tragic events. Following this, Amanda gave a detailed briefing of the attack after which she introduced Jonathan Fischer, with whom she had worked so closely in Copenhagen.
Jonathan’s heartfelt speech explained the impact of the terrorist attack and stressed the importance of partnership:
"We need a partnership between the authorities and the Jewish community in a crisis because neither of us can do it on our own."
"I want to extend a special thanks to CST and to David Delew and Amanda Bomsztyk who flew in immediately [after the terrorist attack]. They showed we are not just a Jewish community in Copenhagen but are part of a large Jewish community throughout the world, and it meant the world to us."
Mike Edelson then spoke to conclude the evening. Mike said that he had fully intended to make a formal appeal speech:
“…but I don’t think there’s any point in making it. Everything that’s been said refers to what could happen here. We’re doing our best to stop it. You’ve heard about the relationship with the police. All I can say is the pledge cards will be with you. Please give generously and I hope you enjoyed the evening.”
Mike’s spontaneous decision was warmly welcomed by our guests, who generously donated to CST; and many of whom made a point of expressing their sincere thanks to our staff and volunteers as they left the event.
CST thanks all of our Northern Regional team who made last night such a special, memorable and successful event: this means our trustees, volunteers, staff, guest speakers and all of those who came in order to support CST. This is work that demands true partnership between all who are involved in it. We thank everyone who makes it possible and invite everybody across our communities to share in the responsibility.