US to vote in four women trustees

The United Synagogue this week ushered in historic constitutional changes which will enable women to become trustees of the country's largest Orthodox body in the summer.

Under the new system,which has been approved by both Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and the London Beth Din, the administration will retain a male majority led by a male president.

But the seven trustees, currently all male, will rise to nine, four of whom will be women, at the next triennial election.

The president will continue to be directly elected by the council. Instead of elections for three vice-presidents and three treasurers, there will now be an election for a single treasurer, who can be either male or female.

If the treasurer is a man, the remaining places on the trustee board will go to three men and four women - and if the treasurer is a woman, to three women and four men.

The nine elected trustees will then choose a vice-president and deputy treasurer from among the ranks.

Council members voted for the changes with almost no opposition although Saul Taylor, a council member for Stanmore, argued that the post of vice-president should be selected by the council rather than by the trustees themselves.

"It should be elected by members and not by a small group of people," he said.

US council members will be able to cast their votes online for the first time at this year's poll.

Last updated: 11:14am, March 24 2014