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Alive, well and surprised

A letter published on the Jerusalem Post website on 10 August 2010:

Sir, – We were surprised to read in Isi Leibler’s column “The arrogance of Claims Conference leaders” (July 22) his description of the Anglo-Jewish Association (AJA) as a “defunct body.”

It would seem that Leibler is unaware that the AJA is a long-established organization in good standing in Britain. It was a founding member of the Claims Conference and its executive members are active in both the Claims Conference and other Holocaust-related charities.

The individuals representing the AJA at the Claims Conference are unpaid and experts in humanitarian- and Holocaust-related issues, and are involved in other Jewish communal and charitable organizations as well. The AJA representatives do not simply turn up each year for the board meeting.

In addition to our work with the Claims Conference, the AJA is one of the largest UK Jewish education grant-making organizations, dispersing the greatest number of education grants to directly support needy and vulnerable Jewish students. Our assistance enables Jewish students in financial need – including many Israelis – to enter further education or study for full-time degrees at British universities.

We are actively and passionately involved in working for the welfare and interest of the survivors, and sit on and chair committees of the Claims Conference.

As well as having the requisite expertise, the AJA and its board representatives are completely independent, as our group receives no financial benefits from the distribution of funds from the Claims Conference.

We therefore have no conflicts of interest.

We are not “arrogant” and are committed both practically and morally to the objects of the Claims Conference and the victims of the Holocaust.

NEIL MIRON President
CLEMENS NATHAN Trustee and vice president
MICHAEL HILSENRATH Trustee
Anglo-Jewish Association