New chief executive for United Synagogue

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2014

A former JFS pupil with a PhD in chemistry is to be the next chief executive of Britain’s largest synagogue body, the United Synagogue.

Dr Steven Wilson, who is the executive director of the International Council of Science, will take up the position after Rosh Hashanah in September.

His predecessor, Jeremy Jacobs, who left after five years at the end of last year, was one of the highest-paid community officials with a salary package of around £160,000.

US president Stephen Pack said, “We are fortunate to have appointed an experienced leader with the skills we need to help the US to move to the next stage of its development. He has a great track record of success of working with membership-based organisations.”

“He has grown up in our community and has an excellent appreciation of the US, and shares our vision of the key priorities required to ensure we succeed.”

Dr Wilson, who is a member of Mill Hill United Synagogue, grew up in Wembley. He was president of Oxford University Jewish society before completing his doctorate at Bristol University and has spent 14 years in senior roles with national and international research organisations.

The International Council of Science is a federation of academies and scientific unions such as the Royal Society in the UK.

Dr Wilson said he hoped to “focus on a member-centred approach to building successful communities, which deliver authentic, inclusive and modern Torah Judaism. That will mean an open channel of dialogue with the membership and their local communities to understand how the US can adapt to best serve their needs.”

A former governor of Mathilda Marks-Kennedy Primary School in North London, he and his wife Susannah have two daughters. His hobbies include the arts and cooking.

Last updated: 10:05am, June 11 2014