New president for Manchester Rep Council

Lucille Cohen has taken over the presidency of Manchester Jewish Representative Council. The former Zionist Central Council president from Altrincham wants to introduce a "new interactive spirit" so the community can better understood its work.

In her inaugural speech to Sunday's council meeting, Mrs Cohen, 54, said Manchester Jewry was facing "increasingly challenging times. The security of the community, our children and students on campus is paramount," she said, referring to violent protests against deputy Israeli envoy Talya Lador-Fresher at Manchester University.

Faith schools, universal jurisdiction, the defence of shechitah and anti-Zionism and its capacity to create antisemitism were other issues of concern, as well as assisting local charities. She proposed the establishment of liaison committees to "reach out for increased communication with the ultra Orthodox".

Mrs Cohen succeeds Barbara Goldstone who was praised at the meeting for her strong leadership by the ZCC's David Berkley. He was also applauded for his response to the plan to sell off communal building Mamlock House.

"Now is not the time to be closing down assets," he declared. "There should be a beacon for Zionism."

He said afterwards that he was not criticising UJIA's decision on Mamlock House, but expressing a hope that the money raised would be used for a new Zionist communal centre.

Treasurer Linda Jacobs, who stepped down after six years, reported a deficit of £3,300.

    Last updated: 1:01pm, May 13 2010