Manchester Jewish Representative Council wants to implement “radical changes” in a bid to reverse falling attendances and attract young leaders.
A report by a committee of executive officers proposes a complete restructuring of the council with the possibility of a paid CEO and doubled annual costs. It will be put to the vote next month.
Ray Cook, who is fronting the proposals, said the suggested new structure would involve electing executives with specific portfolios, such as education or interfaith. He hoped this would bring in business leaders or active professionals. The “cumbersome roles” within the current set-up could only be filled by retired people.
“The council is extremely important in its role,” Mr Cook said. “But, to retain that centrality within the community in the future, it has to really think what challenges lie ahead. Those are financing and demographics in the main.” According to the last census, Manchester has one of the UK’s fastest-growing Charedi communities. But its mainstream younger generation is moving in significant numbers to London.
Current president Frank Baigel supports the aims but is concerned that the proposals do not explain how changes such as increased fundraising will be achieved. “The practicalities are going to be difficult,” he observed.