The most hotly contested leadership campaign in the 249-year history of the Board of Deputies is under way with four candidates already in the race to become its president.
And nominations do not close until May 1, with deputies due to vote for their leader on May 17.
This week, senior vice-president Vivian Wineman, vice-president Flo Kaufmann, former vice-president Jerry Lewis and former United Synagogue president Peter Sheldon all confirmed that they are standing for the position.
The vacancy has been created by Henry Grunwald stepping down after serving the maximum two consecutive three-year terms.
On Sunday, Reform movement chairman Stephen Moss revealed to its council that meetings had taken place with the four declared candidates — all of whom represent United Synagogue constituencies.
Mr Moss said afterwards: “If we feel it appropriate, we may recommend a candidate to Reform delegates. But delegates are free to vote for whichever candidate they see fit.” He estimated that 25 per cent of the board’s 300 members represent Reform synagogues.
Besides the presidency, the three vice-presidencies and the treasurer’s post are all up for grabs.