Five in battle for board VP places

With a record four candidates competing to become president of the Board of Deputies next month, a second race is under way for the three vice-presidential posts.

Five people have confirmed their candidacy, or said they are considering standing, for the number two positions when deputies go to the polls on May 17.

One of the three current vice-presidents, Paul Edlin, who represents Glasgow’s Garnethill Synagogue and chairs the board’s community issues division, will be campaigning for a second three-year term.

His challengers include Agnes Spier-Grunwald (Kingfield Synagogue, Sheffield), chair of the board’s regional assembly, who came fourth out of five in the 2006 vice-presidential elections and hopes to go one better this time.

Long-time deputy Jonathan Arkush (Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue), a member of the board’s constitution committee, is also considering standing, as is Clive Lewisohn, the board’s treasurer for the past six years.

Mr Lewisohn also revealed that he is backing the presidential campaign of fellow Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue member Flo Kaufmann, who is about to complete her second term of office as vice-president. “I very much hope the president will be somebody who has very considerable experience of the board,” he said.

The other three declared candidates for president — Vivian Wineman (also HGS), Jerry Lewis (Hampstead Synagogue) and Peter Sheldon (United Synagogue) — are eligible to contest the vice-presidency as well.

However, only Mr Wineman, senior vice-president in this triennial, has indicated that he may do so. Meanwhile, Laurence Brass (Bushey Synagogue), is putting his name forward for treasurer.

“The interests of the board are becoming less important than those of the Jewish Leadership Council, both financially and in terms of influence,” he observed. “I am keen that the interests of the board should be paramount.”

Nominations close on May 1.

    Last updated: 11:57am, April 16 2009