Advisory Board

ADVISORY BOARD

Gary Mond

Chairman of The Advisory Board

Gary is an economics graduate from Cambridge University and a chartered accountant who, after a career in corporate finance, founded and has been running an international financial training business since 1997. He was a Parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives twice and also served from 1996 until 2002 as a councillor in Kensington and Chelsea. He has been an advisory board member of Conservative Friends of Israel since 2007 and served as a trustee of JNF UK from 2011 to 2023, the final four years of which were as Honorary Treasurer.

 

Laurence Julius

Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board

Laurence is a chemical engineering graduate from Imperial College, London and a chartered accountant. He has recently retired after gaining 40 years of commercial and risk experience in oil and gas exploration and production in the UK and Norway and wholesale banking. Since retiring, he has been heavily involved in the voluntary sector, including serving as a trustee of JNF UK, Harif and Holland Park Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. He is actively engaged in local education, interfaith and anti-radicalisation initiatives and serves as the chairman of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Laurence has also been championing awareness of the plight of Jews from Arab countries

Keith Rowe

Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board

Keith ran his own business for 25 years in the promotions industry. He is a past president of Birmingham Hebrew Congregation and is the choirmaster at Singers Hill Synagogue, a post he has occupied for over 20 years. Keith is on the committee of West Midlands Friends of Israel. He got involved in politics at the time of the Brexit referendum in 2016 and has stood for election to Birmingham City Council (3 times) and Parliament (twice), as well as for the office of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner. He has appeared in the media on many occasions.

Michael Rowe

Young NJA Chairman

Michael holds a Masters Degree in Law and is a former Chair of the Birmingham Young Conservatives. He has worked with many Jewish groups and is currently a board member of the West Midlands Friends of Israel and the Treasurer of Birmingham World Jewish Relief. He is keen to help ensure that the views of members of the Jewish Community are fully represented in its leadership bodies, including the youth. Aside from this, Michael is a chazzan and a keen musician.

Gavriel Solomons

Young NJA Vice Chairman

Gavriel is a final-year Politics & International Relations undergraduate. He grew up in Reading as the son of the local Orthodox Rabbi and, now at university, regularly leads services for the community in Welwyn/Hatfield and is treasurer for his Jewish Society. Gavriel founded and currently chairs his university’s Conservative Society, is Deputy Chair of Welwyn Hatfield Young Conservatives and has stood as a Conservative local election candidate three times. Most recently, he ran to be UJS President on a platform of improving accountability, representation and organisational integrity – principles close to his heart. Elsewise, Gavriel is passionate about classical music, and plays the piano.

Garry Abrams

Advisory Board Member

Garry has always been involved in the Liverpool Jewish Community where he was based until recently, being the President of Liverpool Jewish Youth and Community Centre and on the Board of Childwall Hebrew Congregation. He has in the past been involved with several Jewish community charities including the UJIA. Garry has a thorough understanding of Israel having spent a lot of time there over the years. In his professional life, Garry is a solicitor who was a managing partner of a large regional law firm but now mentors staff in a small practice on an occasional basis. He has an MBA in The Supply of Legal Services, and some years ago stood for election for the Liberal Democratic Party.

Sandra Dangoor

Advisory Board Member

Sandra is an active member of Lauderdale Road synagogue and has served on its Board of Elders. She has been a committee member of Young JIA, is currently a trustee of Harif and an advisory board member of Money Mental Health. She is a business studies graduate from the University of Westminster and, after a long career in the City of London as a stockbroker and portfolio manager,  she now volunteers in the charity sector,  in varied roles from trustee to ambassador.  She was a parliamentary candidate in the 1997 general election, travels regularly to Israel and speaks several languages.

 

Florette Hyman

Advisory Board Member

Florette is a member of Edgware United Synagogue and has served on its shul council. She has also chaired the United Synagogue Women’s Voluntary Chevrah Kadisha and is a founder member of the Edgware Chevra Kadisha. Additionally, Florette has been very active in fund raising for many Jewish causes and charities. She has chaired Emunah Child Resettlement Fund and the Menorah Foundation PTA. In recent years Florette has been involved in supporting the running of Young@Heart in our community. In professional life, she has run her own chocolate business and later becoming marketing director of the Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din. Her achievements include the rejuvenation of the Kosher Nosh Guide and massively boosting its circulation, from 5,000 local copies to 80,000 copies, well recognized internationally. Additionally she procured a Kosher certification logo on finished products such as Mars, Ryvita, Glenrothes malt whisky and many more.

Sharna Kotlowski

Advisory Board Member

Sharna has spent many years as one of the most dedicated Zionist activists in London and has always been deeply committed in campaigns for Israel, as well as being a strong advocate for Jewish continuity and interfaith work.  
Sharna has been proactively involved with many organisations and charities including spending her time monitoring and tackling antisemitism for a large charity. Sharna is the honorary Jewish Chaplain at the Royal Marsden Hospital and is a professional photographer. 

Rabbi David Neifeld

Advisory Board Member

David is a Director of Operations in the Jewish community. Prior to this appointment he held several positions in the Jewish Community, including as Rabbinical Certification Coordinator at the Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din (KLBD) where he had a role in overseeing Kosher certification worldwide and as the Coordinator of the UK Birthright Programme. He has also led several trips to Israel and Poland. David is an ordained rabbi, holds a degree in Politics and Media Studies, is a passionate Religious Zionist and a staunch defender of Israel. He is an active member of the Conservative Party and stood as a candidate for Hertsmere Borough Council in 2021.

Isabel Oberman

Advisory Board member

Isabel has been an active member of Hampstead Garden Synagogue since childhood, apart from a 16 year period in Stanmore when she founded the Zahava Aviv Wizo Committee. She is a committed Zionist and she has worked with many groups, including the Citizens Advice Bureau in Hendon, where she was on the Management Committee for 16 years.  She has also served as a Magistrate on the Willesden Bench for 26 years.  Isabel is currently very involved with Paperweight, a charity that supports Jews on a variety of issues such as benefits, debt, and family problems concerning divorce and separation, to name but a few.

Derek Saker

Advisory Board Member

Derek Saker is an internationalist and seasoned marketing and business professional in the Jewish world. He has lived and worked in diverse Jewish communities in South Africa, the UK, Israel and the United States. He is the co-founder and CEO of JWed, one of the most successful online international Jewish dating services. Preceding this, Derek served as Director of Marketing and Communications for 12 years at Ohel in New York – the largest Jewish social service agency outside Israel. Outside his professional work in the Jewish world, Derek has long been an active member in Jewish community and communal affairs. He was an anti-apartheid student leader in SAUJS (South African Union of Jewish Students), a “Big Brother” volunteer to underprivileged children and a Board member at numerous shuls where he has been active. Derek has additionally authored numerous articles and letters within the media, where he has strongly articulated a Jewish perspective and response. He is currently a member of Kehillas Netzach Yisroel in Edgware.

Barak Seener

Advisory Board Member

Barak Seener is the founder of a geopolitical risk assessment business, having been a Global Intelligence Manager at HSBC. Previously, Barak was the Middle East Director at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) where he staged a conference in London on ‘Palestinian Statehood: Security Implications for the Region’. Prior to working at RUSI, Barak had held a similar role at the Henry Jackson Society. In 2021, Barak was an organizer of Magen Avot Synagogue’s Jewish Community ‘From Anguish to Action’ conference on behalf of the Muslim Uyghurs, and in 2022 he staged the ‘Gulf Futures Forum’ that addressed the future of Gulf security. Barak has also published a book in 2018 on the commercial risks of entering the Iranian market and the impact of sanctions. Additionally, he has written and provided commentary on international affairs for numerous media outlets and has also published articles in many major journals.

Karen Solomon

Advisory Board Member

Karen is a director of a property company. She was previously a mortgage and insurance advisor. She  has been a passionate and active Zionist since she was a child, growing up with a strong love of Israel. She has lived  in Israel for three years and has a good working knowledge of Ivrit. Karen  has been the Executive Director of the Zionist Central Council (ZCC) for over fifteen years, Chair of Manchester’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut committee for twelve years, and Co-chair of Manchester’s Balfour 100 celebration.  She was the Founder and current Chair of the annual Fly the Israeli Flag event on Yom Ha’Atzmaut at Bury Town Hall.

Jonathan Taylor

Advisory Board Member

Jonathan is a graduate in chemical engineering from Imperial College, University of London. He worked for over 40 years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry of which 18 years was spent in Israel, where he also served in the Israel Defence Forces. On returning to the UK he has worked in his own business, as a distributor of diagnostic chemical products for laboratories. In parallel he has served on the executive of Mizrachi UK and later the Zionist Federation until very recently. He works in co-operation with the World Zionist Organisation running four Ulpan classes as a teacher of spoken Hebrew and is a co-presenter in a Middle East education group offering talks to schools’ sixth forms on the Arab-Israel and Middle East conflict.

Claire Walford

Advisory Board Member

Claire is a member of the Board of Belsize Square Synagogue, where she runs the weekly Adult Education and Discussion Programme. She has been an organising volunteer for Limmud and Limmudfest, where she was responsible for participant care, emergency medical cover rota and conference catering. She is a supporter and regular participant of the annual Jewish Christian Biblewocke based in Osnabrück, Germany. Claire has trained and worked in paediatrics and general practice and spent over 20 years as an A&E consultant at UCL before retiring. She was the A&E lead for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and also for psychiatric liaison. She is currently a member of the Independent Advisory Group for Camden Police.

 

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