Jonathan Arkush elected new president of Board of Deputies


Jonathan Arkush is to be the new president of the Board of Deputies after defeating rivals Alex Brummer and Laura Marks in today’s election.

The 60-year old barrister, who has been vice-president for the past six years, succeeds Vivian Wineman, who bows out after heading the community’s main representative body since 2009.

Mr Arkush was ahead on the first round of voting with 107 votes to 78 for Ms Marks and 74 for Ms Brummer. In the second round, Mr Arkush defeated Ms Marks by 152 votes to 92.

Mr Arkush, who represents Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue, proved a strong performer in the pre-election hustings and was by far longest-serving of the candidates with 30 years’ experience as a deputy.

As chairman of the Board’s defence committee, he has been particularly active in defending Jewish student interests on campus and speaking up for Israel during times of crisis.

“For the past six years, I have led the defence of the community against those who wish us harm,” he said during his election campaign. “We are in turbulent times, and I believe we shall need to give our primary focus to ensuring our community continues to be effectively protected.”

While he has been critical in the past of the Jewish Leadership Council, he said he would “work as hard as I can” to bring about its unification with the Board.

Apart from defence, he said his priorities would be to raise the Board’s profile and reform its “sometimes cumbersome procedures”.

Richard Verber, Sheila Gewolb and Marie van der Zyl were elected vice-presidents and Stuart Macdonald treasurer.

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