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Lord Levene Speaks to Students and Young Professionals in London

Tuesday, 15 December, 2009 - 6:06 am

IMG_2920.JPGOver 80 students and young professionals gathered last week to hear Lord Peter Levene speak about the challenges and rewards of being an open Jew in the world of business in the UK.

The event, organised by Chabad of Bloomsbury, took place in London’s famous Lloyd’s building which houses the insurance market Lloyd's of London where Lord Levene served as chairman since 2002.

“We thought it would be a great idea for Lord Levene - an open, committed and influential Jew - to speak to young people about the real or perceived challenges that might face them on campus or in the world of work,” said Rabbi Yisroel Lew, director of Chabad of Bloomsbury.

In the course of his talk, Lord Levene spoke about his family history in the United Kingdom which goes back over 100 years.

Despite widespread concerns about anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom, Lord Levene said: “I have lived in this country all my life and I can tell you with absolute honesty that I have not really experienced any real anti-Semitism.”

IMG_2916.JPGAmong the things Lord Leven spoke about were his opposition to intermarriage and his belief that people will accept and respect those who respect themselves.

“You do not necessarily have to proclaim your Jewishness, nor hide it, just be who you are and people will accept you," Lord Levene told the audience.

Lord Levene has held many high-profile positions in business and civic life. As well as having been the vice chairman of Deutsche Bank and more recently the chairman of Lloyd’s of London, he also served as the Lord Mayor of London from 1998 to 1999 and was the seventh Jew to ever hold the position since its formation in 1189.

“Lord Levene’s personal example might serve as a testimony to those who out of fear believe that religious identity in the UK will always act as an impediment to productive and successful citizenship,” said Sam Jacobs who attended the event.

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