A Facebook campaign has been launched to try to get more young members of the Board of Deputies on key committees.
In elections on Sunday, an extraordinarily high number of deputies, 106, will contest 48 seats on the Board’s four divisions — defence, community issues, international affairs and finance.
Andrew Gilbert — who has served on the Board for most of the past 20 years and now represents UJIA — has turned to Facebook to promote the claims of some of his younger colleagues. “I want to give new and less well-known deputies a fair crack at the whip at getting on to committees,” he said. “I don’t think it should just be that those who were on committees in the last triennial should be given a ticket for life.”
Candidates include youth and student representatives including Habonim fieldworker Jem Stein and Noam community worker Ilana Fenster.
Limmud deputy Richard Verber — who is bidding for a seat on the finance division — is one of the instigators of Changing the Board, a lobby group to increase the number of younger and female deputies.
He has been “blown away by how many people want to stand. We’ve got over 20 new young deputies across the four divisions, making up almost a fifth of the candidates.
“One thing we were very clear on when we formed Changing the Board was that it wasn’t going to be a group to snipe at the sidelines. We were clear that the only way to change the Board for the better would be engage with it.”
In May’s vice-presidential elections, the new officers pledged to increase the involvement of grass-roots deputies in the Board’s work.
With so many candidates for committee places, they may have to come up with new ideas to utilise the talents of some of those who do not win seats on Sunday.