2019 – Michael Marks (UK)
1988 – Joined the Scout Movement as a member of the 401st Manchester (Jewish) Scout Group – Cubs, Scouts & Ventures
2002 – Became a Warranted Leader and began role as Assistant Leader
2007 – Began role as Scout Unit Leader
2007 – Member of the organising team for the IFJS Jewish Tent in the Faith & Belief Zone at the 21s World Scout Jamboree, Hylands Park, UK
2008 – Member of the organising team for the IFJS Unit at Irish Jamboree
2011 – Gained Wood Badge
2011 – Member of the organising team for the IFJS Jewish Tent in the Faith & Belief Zone at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree, Kristianstadt, Sweden
2015 – Jewish Tent Coordinator for the IFJS Jewish Tent in the Faith & Belief Zone at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree, Fukuoka, Japan
2017 – Service Team Member at UK Jewish Scout Active Support Unit Camp
2017 – Began role as European Coordinator for IFJS
2019 – IFJS Jewish Tent Coordinator for the Faith & Belief Zone at the 24th World Scout Jamboree, Summit Bechtel, West Virginia, USA
2020 – Began as a committee member of the National Jewish Active Support Unit, UK
2020 – Awarded the UK Award for Merit
2022 – Began role as General Secretary for IFJS
2023 – IFJS Jewish Tent Coordinator for the Faith & Belief Zone at the 25th World Scout Jamboree, Saemangeum, South Korea
Promoting Jewish Scouting
Michael was born into a Scouting & Guiding family as his father was the Scout Leader and his mother was an Assistant Guide Leader for the local Jewish group in Manchester, UK throughout his childhood. He attended Cubs, Scouts & Ventures and after a brief break for university returned as an Assistant Scout Leader and later became the Scout Leader. Michael continued his father’s legacy by ensuring that the 401st Manchester Scout Troop was one of the largest Jewish units in the UK, and also the largest unit in the District. This was due to the unique mix of both traditional and modern Scouting that was on offer, a programme that was scout lead and adventurous, but also steeped in Jewish tradition where all levels were comfortable joining in.
National Jewish Scouting is also an important part of Michael’s work and this is seen by his commitment to helping as a member of the service team at National Jewish Scout Camps encompassing Jewish Cubs, Scouts and Explorers across the UK as part of the National Jewish Active Support Unit, which he is currently a committee member.
Michael was awarded the UK Scouting Award for Merit in 2020 for keen, conscientious, imaginative and dedicated service over a sustained period, of at least 12 years duration.
The World Scout Jamboree 2007 in the UK was a turning point in Michael’s scouting life where he formed part of the first IFJS Team at the inaugural Faith & Belief Zone. The interfaith work that took place at this Jamboree became the template on what he and those on successive organising teams have used at National Jamborees and World Scout Jamborees ever since.
Within the IFJS Michael has taken on the role of European Coordinator since 2017 and was elected as Deputy Chair of the European Scout Interreligious Forum ensuring that all faith needs of the European Region are met at Jamborees, Roverways, Forums and other such events. He has written two extensive documents called ‘Judaism & Scouting in European Region’ and ‘Kosher Food Across European Region’. These documents are used to ensure that all Jewish needs are met at any European Region event and are sited as the main reference documents for all National Scouting Organisations and Associations within European Region when organising national level camps and activities.
Presently Michael has been elected as the General Secretary for IFJS where he has taken on the responsibility of coordinating any Jewish activities taking place at world level, is an IFJS representative at the Interreligious Forum of World Scouting, and represents Jewish scouting at events locally, regionally and Internationally.
Michael also has responsibility for the leadership and organisation of the IFJS Jewish Tent at World Scout Jamborees where he has fulfilled this role in Japan 2015, USA 2019 & South Korea 2023.