Should Orthodox deputies cover their heads?
By Simon Rocker
May 24, 2012
One of the novelties of the vice-presidential elections at the Board of Deputies on Sunday was that they were live-streamed, enabling web spectators to follow events.
The same was also true of the hustings a few days before, where the candidates also had to endure the sight of sometimes critical commentary on their performance being tweeted on a live screen by outside viewers as well as members of the audiences.
Meanwhile, here is one view of Sunday’s events which was blogged by Bnei Akiva deputy Noah Nathan:
“It was probably the most exciting election that the Board has ever seen with live streaming and twitter playing an important role in creating the atmosphere. Unlike the previous plenary sessions that I’ve attended, the number of twitter users tweeting with the #bod hashtag that I did not know of, was astounding. It just shows the growing interest that the young Jewish community is having with the Board or perhaps the growing number of older Deputies using twitter.
"The event however, was marred by controversy when one candidate was interrupted by a Deputy multiple times regarding a long-standing argument between them. The other controversy happened when one deputy took issue with one of the candidates’ Reform background. The most chutzpadik thing was that this deputy wasn’t even wearing a kippah at the time.
“This gets me onto another point – there are a ridiculous number of deputies representing Orthodox synagogue that don’t wear kippot. Why do so many shuls choose someone who won’t even cover their head in a public Jewish setting? The fact that some of the deputies chosen by the United Synagogue trustees don’t wear kippot is totally wrong and shows a bad dugma ishit (personal example) too as well. Even the President, who represents Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue won’t even wear a kippa in front of the queen!
"On a final note, after today’s plenary session, I’ve thought about a couple things. Firstly, I’ll need to wear a movement shirt to future sessions; Bnei Akiva’s other Deputy – mazkir Alex Cohen – wore his and it definitely allowed him to stand out and network better. Secondly, there was a lot of talk about ‘change’ at the Board which most candidates stressed was about introducing younger and more female deputies.
“However, if we want the Board to be a true representation of Anglo Jewry, we must also make efforts to bring back in the fastest growing group – the Charedim.”