Attempt to boost young community in Leeds

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 21, 2010

The Leeds Jewish community has appointed a development executive as part of a strategic plan to boost community life and positively market the advantages of living there.

Susie Gordon, 32, and originally from Pinner in London, was selected on Sunday night from 13 candidates. Her experimental role, funded through a levy on synagogue fees, will primarily focus on promoting a vibrant Jewish lifestyle for 18 to 35 year-olds. Married to Leeds-born Brodetsky primary school teacher Joel, Susie says she moved to Leeds five years ago among a growing number of young families attracted by welcoming and prominently Jewish, leafy suburbs.

"The job will be about how you get people involved in the community and create an umbrella over what's going on," she explained. "I identified gaps in social activities for the 18 to 35 age group, but in order to fill that you need to give a positive feeling about Leeds to the whole community."

Hilton Lorie, president of Leeds Jewish Representative Council – which co-ordinated a four-month search to fill the position – said: "There is a heck of a lot happening in the Leeds Jewish community, but we need to improve our communication and Susie will also show us where there are gaps in provision."

Mrs Gordon currently markets major projects for Leeds City Council, but is due to begin her Jewish communal role next month.

Last updated: 8:57am, September 22 2010