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Jewish Museum London announces new chairman Lord Young of Graffham

The Jewish Museum is delighted to announce that Lord Young of Graffham will become the new Chairman of the Jewish Museum London on 20 June 2010. Lord Young takes over this position at a very exciting time for the museum following a major £10 million redevelopment project.

Lord Young brings to the Jewish Museum a wealth of experience from both the cultural and Jewish sectors. Following a long career in law, business and politics he has held many positions within leading Jewish and cultural institutions. He was Chairman of British ORT in the 1970’s, a post he relinquished on joining the government, but became President of the World ORT Union when he returned to private life in 1989. He became Chairman of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Chairman of the Council of Jewish Social Services and the first President of Jewish Care on its formation in 1990 and is Honorary President today. He was an initial member of the Jewish Leadership Council. He is President of Chai Cancer Care and a trustee of the Co-Existence Trust.

Lord Young’s interests are wide-ranging, a past Chairman of Council, Chairman of Institute of Cultural Heritage, at University College London; Chairman of Chichester Festival Theatre, and a past member of Council of the Prince’s Trust he is now President of the Patrons Network. He held his first exhibition as a photographer at the Cork Street Gallery, and he lists music and book collecting among his interests.

Originally a solicitor, Lord Young of Graffham has extensive experience both across the business world and within the political sphere. After building up his own companies for nearly twenty years, he joined the government in 1979 as a volunteer civil servant, introducing privatisation in the Department of Industry, serving eventually as Chairman of the Manpower Services Commission from April 1982. September 1984 saw David Young enter the Lords and join the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio, becoming Secretary of State for Employment in 1985. After the 1987 election in which he had a key role, he became Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade. He retired from government in July 1989, serving as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party until June 1990.

Lord Young takes over from Robert Craig, who has been Chairman of the museum since 2004 and has been appointed Vice President. Mr. Craig led the museum through the recent redevelopment project, which has tripled the space of the museum and created new exhibition galleries and education facilities.

Rickie Burman, Museum Director said: “Lord Young’s vision, energy and broad experience will make him an invaluable source of expertise for the museum. Lord Young’s leadership will ensure that we continue to offer dynamic, high quality exhibitions, education and public programmes for our diverse audiences. Our outgoing Chairman Robert Craig has been a very dedicated and effective Chairman and has guided us through a challenging period in the museum’s history, from merging the Jewish Museum with the former London Museum of Jewish Life to redeveloping the current site.”

Lord Young commented: “I feel very honoured to be able to take the helm of the museum only weeks after its reopening. It has been a tremendous achievement by all concerned to carry out the redevelopment of the museum and to create an institution which does credit to the Jewish community and one of which we can all be truly proud. The museum is a leader in celebrating Jewish life and cultural diversity with education at the core of its mission. My priority now will be to ensure that our educational work reaches out to the Jewish community and beyond. A visit to the Jewish Museum needs to be part of every child’s education.”

For further information please contact Dina Wosner on 020 7284 7356 or dina.wosner@jewishmuseum.org.uk

Thursday 14th April, 2011

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