'Sexing up' rep council

Manchester Jewish Representative Council has formed a committee to brighten its image and entice more young people into leadership roles.

Addressing Sunday’s monthly meeting, council restructuring committee chair Ray Cook told the 50 delegates that the council was a critical point of contact with the wider community and interfaith groups. But he lamented that there were “not many people under 40 in the room.

“We are not a sexy organisation and we need to get rid of the fuddy-duddy image that we have. Hopefully injecting more youth into our organisation can help but that’s a considerable challenge for most communal organisations.”

Mr Cook will head a team charged with recommending changes. Among them would be ways to mirror the Board of Deputies. In 2009 the Board introduced measures to allow member organisations to send an additional under-35 observer to help encourage younger involvement. But critics have pointed out that a quarter of the Board’s membership remains in the 70-plus age category.

Council president Frank Baigel said: “I don’t think we should be negative about what we do but obviously we want to attract younger people.”

Last updated: 9:45am, April 22 2013