The Board of Deputies’ director of public affairs, Phil Rosenberg, is entering the political arena as a Labour candidate in this month’s local elections.
He will be fighting for a seat in the Liberal Democrat-held West Hampstead ward in the London borough of Camden.
Mr Rosenberg, 28, said; “What is exciting about local politics is you can make a difference and help people with problems in tangible ways — there’s a real buzz.”
He said he saw no conflict with being a Jewish community civil servant and a potential councillor.
“I put it to senior colleagues at the Board. There’s isn’t much overlap between local politics and the issues I engage with in my Board role. I work openly with different parties and I don’t see that as a problem.”
One of his Board duties is to serve the recently launched All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews, for which the Board acts as secretariat.
Mr Rosenberg rejoined the Board last May, having previously been its interfaith and social action officer. In between, he was director of the Faiths Forum for London.
“I have been thinking of public service and how I could apply myself to it,” he said.
“I said to my better half I was thinking of maybe the rabbinate or politics — and she said she didn’t want to be a rabbi’s wife.”
West Hampstead is being contested by the Lib Dems, Conservatives, the Greens, Ukip and a Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate.