Alex Brummer, the award-winnning city editor of the Daily Mail, has become the first contender in the race to succeed Vivian Wineman as president of the Board of Deputies in May.
The Brighton-born journalist, 65, who represents the United Synagogue at the organisation, has served as one of its three vice-presidents since 2012.
His candidacy looks set to ensure a keenly-fought election with fellow vice-presidents Laura Marks and Jonathan Arkush thought likely to throw their hats into the ring.
Treasurer Laurence Brass is also eligible to stand, while former United Synagogue leader Simon Hochhauser has hinted he might consider a pitch at the presidency.
Mr Brummer said that he could draw on high-level access in the political and economic worlds because of the contacts he had built up in the course of his career.
He had been able to discuss sanctions on Iran with two successive Chancellors and other ministers and speak directly to the heads of leading supermarkets about the boycott threat during Israel’s recent Gaza conflict.
His work, he said, “gives me a real finger on the pulse of national politics. I sit in leader conferences every day with some of the top political commentators in the country and listen to what they have to say.”
A former foreign editor of the Guardian, he has chaired the Board’s international division since 2012, having been its vice-chairman for the previous six.
While the Board still enjoyed the trust within much of the community, he believed, it needed to engage better with its constituents.
“The one big thing we need to think about very carefully is how we carry the community with us on issues, which we haven’t seemed to do terribly well,” he said.
“I think there has been too much of a tendency to sit in the shadow of other leadership organisations. We need to get out from that shadow and put ourselves back in front.”