Third candidate announces bid for Board of Deputies presidency

Former senior vice-president Sheila Gewolb says she has the experience to be ‘the face of the Board’


Sheila Gewolb

The contest for the next president of the Board of Deputies has now become a three-horse race as former vice-president Sheila Gewolb announced on Sunday she would be bidding to succeed current leader Marie van der Zyl in spring.

The deputy for Cardiff United Synagogue for the past 15 years said, “I know I can do a really good job as the face of the Board.

“I have the experience, the passion, the energy and commitment.My time is my own and I have spent every minute of it doing what I can to help fight antisemitism through education.”

She follows vice-president Amanda Bowman and former public affairs director of the Board Phil Rosenberg in declaring her candidacy.

She was elected vice-president in 2015, heading the communities and education division of the Board, and then senior vice-president three years later when she moved to chair the international division.

Having completed the maximum two terms in succession, she stood down in 2021 but has been travelling across the country for the Board since as chair of its outreach working group.

She is an executive officer of the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on RE (which oversee local RE curricula in schools), a board member of the Religious Education Council of the UK and also a member of the Lord Lieutenant’s Council on Faith.

Dr Gewolb, who has homes in London, Rutland and Cumbria and visits the Welsh capital regularly, gained a doctorate in communications research from Cardiff University eight years ago.

She said she wanted to make the Board more democratic, holding “regular debates alternating with [guest] speakers. I want the voices of deputies to be heard.”

Candidates will have to secure 20 nominees in order to get their name on to the May ballot.

Nominations for president, the three vice-presidencies and treasure open on February 15 and close on March 7.

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