Fri 10 May 2024 13:40

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80 Years After D-Day: AJEX & JLGB To Recognise The Courage of Today's Jewish Youth


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As we approach the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings, JLGB and AJEX JMA wanted to mark the occasion in a profound and fitting way.  

In tribute to Sir James d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, a decorated D-Day hero, the bravery medal (first named in his honour following his death in 1987) which was previously only awarded to JLGB members by AJEX, is now broadening its reach.  

This milestone anniversary initiative will now open nominations wider to recognise the exceptional courage of Jewish youth from across the entire community.

Traditionally awarded once every five years, this prestigious medal is a testament to the extraordinary valour and commitment of its recipients. This year, to mark this special anniversary, JLGB and AJEX aim to amplify the spirit of heroism that Sir James d'Avigdor-Goldsmid exemplified through the expansion of the award‘s criteria.

Criteria for Excellence: A Call For Young Heroes 
The medal committee seeks nominations of candidates from across Jewish schools, community centres and youth groups who have shown not only bravery but also a profound commitment to serving others, overcoming personal adversity, and who have made positive contributions to their communities. 

Officially reinstating this award on June 6th 2024, the 80th anniversary of D-Day, nominations will officially open at a launch event as part of a special commemoration service.  The then chosen worthy recipients will be awarded medals and citations which will be presented by senior dignitaries at the AJEX Parade pre-reception in November, emphasising the importance of these acts of valour at the UK Jewish Community’s National Remembrance Parade. 

Dan Fox, National Chair AJEX JMA, shares: "Sir Jack’s remarkable bravery and leadership remain a beacon of inspiration to this day. Expanding the qualification for this medal in his honour, especially on this landmark anniversary, underscores our enduring 95 year partnership with JLGB and celebrates the courageous spirit of today's youth." 
Neil Martin OBE, CEO of JLGB, adds, “The resilience and fortitude shown by the youngsters of our community, especially in recent turbulent years, have been remarkable. Expanding this award in partnership with our dear friends at AJEX, not only commemorates Sir James’s spirit and the continued legacy and enduring bravery of British Jews, but encourages and empowers the next generation to ensure a brighter future for us all.” 

Remembering Sir James
Major-General Sir James d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, MC, was a decorated D-Day veteran who went on to become one of the Jewish Community’s highest ranking British Army Officers. He was a beloved figurehead for both the JLGB and AJEX, optimising the unwavering 95-year partnership and special relationship between both organisations. Sir James’ contributions spanned well beyond military service, fostering a legacy of leadership and communal duty, and so now too will, the medal dedicated in his honour, broaden its reach. 

Editor’s Note: 
For details on the nomination process or the history and impact of Sir James d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, please email
Images and interviews are available upon request.  

About JLGB and AJEX - A special relationship now celebrating 95 years of proud partnership  
For almost 130 years, JLGB has uplifted each generation of UK Jewish youth, removing barriers to participation and ensuring access to vital programs that foster skills, adventure, leadership, and volunteering. JLGB strives is to develop confident, capable young individuals to be their best selves, ready to contribute as active leaders to their communities and wider society. 

AJEX stands as our community’s guardian of remembrance, honouring the service of Jewish military personnel in the British Armed Forces. Through veteran support, educational initiatives, combatting antisemitism and remembrance events, AJEX ensures the valour and sacrifice of Jewish servicemen and women are forever remembered, honoured and respected. 

Nomination Form for the Sir James D'Avigdor-Goldsmid (AJEX) Medal

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For over 125 years, young Jewish people have been discovering just how brilliant they can be and how they can make the world a better place through JLGB. Whether you're 8 or 18, whatever you want to be, join in and be your best self with us! 

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