King Charles has bestowed one of Britain’s highest honours on the pro-Israel Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis – a Knighthood as Commander of the British Empire.
Rabbi Mirvis, who is an outspoken supporter of Israel, was given the award for his “significant services to the Jewish community, to interfaith relations and to education.”
The King also made the pro-Israel president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, an OBE.
The honours are approved by the government and Buckingham Palace before being dispensed. They are often seen as a reward for carrying out work approved by the authorities.
In its media release the government praised Chief Rabbi Mirvis for being “a pioneer of interfaith activity” having “initiated Jewish-Muslim community engagement projects.” It added that he “addresses global events with his vision of a ‘Judaism of Responsibility’ intervening, for example, on the plight of Uyghur Muslims, the only such intervention by a global faith leader.”
Chief Rabbi Mirvis said: “I am enormously honoured and deeply humbled by this award. It will be particularly moving for me to receive this award from His Majesty The King, in his first year as our monarch.”
Meanwhile, Marie van der Zyl, the proudly Zionist president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, was given given an OBE “for her work in faith and integration.”
She said: “This is a true honour and a great surprise. It is a tribute to all the work we do at the Board of Deputies to represent and advocate for our Jewish community. I could not have achieved what I have without the support and help of everyone here, including our wonderful staff team and my fellow honorary officers and deputies, all of whom are volunteers who give so much time and effort for no reward. This is as much for them as it is for me.”
And television presenter and mathematician Rachel Riley also received an MBE for “services for Holocaust Education.”
Riley became prominent for her campaign against the way the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn handled allegations of antisemitism. She said she decided to speak out after seeing “Israel is a racist endeavour” posters on London bus stops.
The following British Muslims were also named in the New Year’s Honours List:
Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Professor Robina Shahnaz SHAH, Director, Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience. For services to Patient Care.
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Nadra AHMED, Executive Chair, National Care Association. For services to Social Care.
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Usman ALI, Lately Chair, Black Workers’ Committee, Scottish Trades Union Congress. For services to Equality and Cohesion in Scotland.
Rashid BEGUM, Lately Acting Deputy Director, Home Office. For Public Service.
Mouhssin ISMAIL, Lately Principal, Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre, London Borough of Newham. For services to Education.
Saika JABEEN, Assistant Chief Officer, Nottinghamshire Probation Service. For Public Service.
Fukhera KHALID, Managing Director, Elbrook Cash and Carry. For services to Business, to Charity and to the community in North London.
Professor Mohamed POURKASHANIAN, Managing Director, Energy Innovation Centre, University of Sheffield. For services to Net Zero Research and to Innovation.
Sheikh Aliur RAHMAN, Chief Executive Officer, London Tea Exchange. For services to the Tea Industry and to Young People.
Riaz SHAH, Founder and Chair of Trustees, One Degree Academy. For services to Education.
Remzije SHERIFI, For services to Refugee Integration in Glasgow.
Asrar UL-HAQ, For services to the community in Greater Manchester.
Member of the Order of the British Empire
Mesba AHMED, Founder and Chief Executive, London Tigers Charity. For services to the community in London.
Syed Samad ALI, Lately Teacher, Thornhill Academy, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. For services to Education.
Shadim HUSSAIN, Chief Executive, My Foster Family. For services to Equality and to the Foster Care System.
Dr Atiya KAMAL, Health Psychologist and Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Birmingham City University. For services to Health Psychology during Covid-19.
Mohammed Wakkas KHAN, Founder, Young Interfaith. For services to Charity, to Young People and to Interfaith Relations.
Dr Shaid MAHMOOD, Chair of Governors, Leeds City College Group. For services to Further Education in Leeds.
Syed Khaja Mohi MOINUDDIN, Customs Cooperation Agreements Lead, HM Revenue and Customs. For Public Service.
Professor Dr Syed Naseem NAQVI, President, British Blockchain Association. For services to Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies.
Dr Nooralhaq NASIMI, Founder, Afghanistan and Central Asian Association. For services to Refugees.
Anisah OSMAN BRITTON, Founder, 23 Code Street. For services to Diversity in the Technology Sector.
Dr Mohammed QASIM, Lecturer and Welfare Officer, Gower College, Swansea. For services to Academic Research and to Young People.
Abdul Aziz QAZI, Imam and Founder, Jamia Islamia Ghousia Trust. For services to the community in Luton.
Zebina RATANSI, Director of Nursing, Whipps Cross University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust. For services to Nursing Leadership.
Jawahir ROBLE, Referee and Volunteer, Football Beyond Borders. For services to Association Football.
Hammad Nasar, Curator, Author and Art Historian. For services to the Arts. (London).
Faraz Khan, Founder and Director, Social, Entrepreneurship and Equity Development SEEDVentures. For services to UK/Pakistan relations.
Mohammed Shokat, Consular Regional Director Middle East, and North Africa, and South Asia, British Embassy Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For services to British Nationals overseas.
Medal of the Order of the British Empire
Nura Omar AABE, Founder, Autism Independence. For services to People with Autism.
Zulqarnain Tony ASLAM, Councillor, Wellingborough Town Council. For services to the community in Wellingborough during Covid-19.
Shah Sheikh Shepali BEGUM, Lately Outreach and Impacts Manager, Commonwealth Games Legacy Team. For services to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Ziana Ayesha BUTT, For services to Netball and to Diversity.
Zakaria Arif DADA, For services to the community in the London Borough of Merton during Covid-19.
Javaid IQBAL, Foster Carer, Birmingham Children’s Trust. For services to Fostering.
Samina Qasim IQBAL, Foster Carer, Birmingham Children’s Trust. For services to Fostering.
Dr Sayyada MAWJI, For services to Healthcare during Covid-19.
Kings Ambulance Service Medal
Salman Desai, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Transformation, North West Ambulance Service.
Order of St Michael and St George (Knight Commander)
Masood AHMED, President, Center for Global Development. For services to International Development.
Dr Mohamed IBRAHIM, Founder, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. For services to Charity and to Philanthropy.