It's a three-way fight in Board president election as nominations close


The election for president of the Board of Deputies will be a three horse-race after nominations closed today.

Its three vice-presidents, Jonathan Arkush (Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue), Alex Brummer (United Synagogue) and Laura Marks (Movement for Reform Judaism), will fight it out to succeed outgoing leader Vivian Wineman on May 17.

But dark horse Richard Cohen (Loughton, Chigwell and District Synagogue) will not be at the starting-line after failing to secure the necessary 20 nominations either to run as president or vice-president.

The vice-presidency is also being hotly contested with six candidates competing for three seats.

They are David Berens (JNF), Sheila Gewolb (Cardiff United Synagogue), Tal Ofer (Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue), Roslyn Pine (North Salford Synagogue), Marie van der Zyl (West London Synagogue) and Richard Verber (Limmud).

With three women and two candidates aged 35 or under – Mr Ofer and Mr Verber – the Board’s top table is likely to show greater diversity than in the past. It will also be more inexperienced as none of the six has served as an officer of the organisation before.

Even the treasurer’s post has produced an electoral contest with former vice-president Jerry Lewis (Hampstead Synagogue) attempting to make a comeback against the vice-chairman of the Board’s finance committee, Stuart Macdonald (Liberal Judaism).

Ms Marks will be attempting to become only the second female president in the Board’s history and the first from a Progressive background since Sir Osmond d’Avigdor Goldsmid 80 years ago.

The three presidential candidates will be going head to head at a JC-Board hustings open to the public in London on the evening of May 12. To apply for free tickets, email with your full name, email address, home address and contact phone number.

But campaigning began well before the close of nominations. The presidential contenders appeared at a hustings in Manchester last night, while Mr Brummer has even produced an election video.

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