Board presidential candidates reach required nominations to compete

The four who have announced their bid for the leadership say they have cleared the first hurdle


Bidding for glory: Board presidential candidates (from left) Phil Rosenberg, Sheila Gewolb, Michael Ziff, Amanda Bowman

All four known contenders for the presidency of the Board of Deputies say they have secured sufficient backing to reach the next stage in the race to succeed Marie van der Zyl.

Candidates have to secure the endorsement of 20 deputies to be on the ballot for the May poll before nominations close next Wednesday.

The Board’s former public affairs director Phil Rosenberg, who represents Brondesbury United Synagogue, confirmed that he had cleared the hurdle within a day of nominations opening.

“It was fantastic to have reached this milestone so quickly, but my campaign is not complacent and we will fight for every vote,” he said.

Board vice-president Amanda Bowman, the deputy for Hampstead Synagogue, who chairs its defence division, said, “I’m so grateful to all the deputies who have seen my work over the last six years as VP and now want to see me continuing the good work as the next president.”

Former vice-president Sheila Gewolb, who previously chaired its community and education and its international divisions and who represents Cardiff United Synagogue, said, “I am delighted to be able to proceed to the next stage of this election and look forward to a positive and invigorating campaign.”

The Board’s current treasurer Michael Ziff, a former president of Maccabi GB who is now its deputy, was elected as an officer of the Board in 2022. He said he was “overwhelmed” by the nominations. “I want to ensure that the Board is openly and robustly representative of communities throughout the UK, listening and empowering to all,” he said.

Ms van der Zyl will step down in June after serving a maximum two three-year terms in succession.

Compared to previous campaigns of a few weeks, this year’s election will be a lengthy contest with candidates having two months to make their case to deputies.

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