New chair for JCoSS
Submitted to: Education 
Posted: February 15 2007


February 15 2007 ( - Michael Phillips - a chartered accountant, leading businessman and the person responsible for spearheading the setting up of Immanuel College - has been unanimously appointed as the new chair of JCoSS, the Jewish Community Secondary School, to take it through to its planned opening in September 2010. Jon Epstein, chair of the Jewish Community Day School Advisory Board and a former Assistant Head, and Alan Goldman, a former Director of property company, Heron International, will become the first vice-chairs.

Phillips, 76, a member of the Marble Arch Orthodox Synagogue will take over from Jonathan Fingerhut, a member of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood, with immediate effect. Fingerhut is to remain an active member of the Board with responsibility for all JCoSS’s marketing and communications.

A former partner of accountancy practice, Hacker, Rubens, Phillips & Young, Phillips now runs a private property and investment company, Berkeley Square Properties. He is also a trustee of the Phillips and Rubens Charitable Foundation.

Commenting on his appointment, Phillips said:

“This is an incredible honour for me and an incredible opportunity for the whole community. In particular, I am attracted to the project by JCoSS’s ethos of inclusivity. I want to help build on the achievements of Jonathan and the Board in getting us to where we are today. The challenge is to continue their work to-date to create a school that welcomes on an equal basis Jews of all backgrounds, beliefs and abilities. In doing so, we will be able to draw back into our community those who might otherwise be lost to it.

“Already, even though we are still nearly four years away from opening, we have over a thousand parents who have registered an interest in their children attending the school. This is almost enough to fill JCoSS to capacity on day one, a clear mark of the huge demand out there for a cross-communal school of this sort,” Phillips concluded.

Jonathan Fingerhut added:

“I am extremely proud of what has been achieved during my seven years as chair of JCoSS. Together with many others, we have turned what frankly seemed like a crazy idea into solid reality, with a site, national and local government backing, tens of millions of pounds of public funding and, as Michael’s appointment today perfectly illustrates, support from all sections of the community.

“This is the largest single capital project ever undertaken by the UK’s Jewish community. To ensure that it is delivered effectively, on time and to budget, requires high level of professional standards. That is why I am so delighted that Michael Phillips has now agreed to take the lead, working alongside Gerald Ronson, who is already heading up the school’s build and design phase.

“I am looking forward to continuing to play a full part in my own area of professional expertise, marketing and communications.”

Phillips’ inherits a professional team of educationalists, planners, architects and other consultants. The plans they have drawn up for the school on the site of the current East Barnet Upper School at Westbrook Crescent, New Barnet are well advanced and they expect to be ready to submit a formal planning application in the Spring.

Those plans include a specialist 50-place unit for children between the ages of 11-19 years old with a range of severe and complex learning disabilities which will be run by Norwood, the UK’s leading Jewish children and family services organisation.

For further information:

Until 15th February: Ben Rich ( ): 07713 509134 or 020 8869 9539 or 020 7618 9100

After 15th February: Jon Sacker ( ): 07961 571008

Photo of Michael Phillips available on request

For further information please see


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