The race to succeed Jonathan Arkush as president of the Board of Deputies looks set to have one dark horse.
Brian Mark, the representative of Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland who has been on the Board for a year, says he is “seriously considering” a bid for the top job.
A criminal barrister who lives in Newcastle, Mr Mark, 60, says he has his “own vision of how Anglo-Jewry should be run”.
His decision has partly arisen out of “concern for the damage done by the Jewish Leadership Council”, following the JC’s revelations of allegations of financial irregularities surrounding former JLC chief executive Jeremy Newmark.
Mr Mark wants to see greater transparency from the JLC in the way it deals with the fallout from the affair, and believes that ultimately it should be “under the auspices of the Board — and not because they have got into trouble”.
The barrister, who is a vice-chairman of University Jewish Chaplaincy and a member of the Jewish Labour Movement, is keen generally to broaden the Board’s reach.
“The community has a lot of people of all ages who do not feel they have been enfranchised — who feel that the community is run by those who have the money. But money does not equal wisdom,” he said.
The Board should also be a place which fosters young leadership, he said. “I would set up a youth parliament which meets twice a year.”
Mr Mark is also planning to contest the vice-presidency in elections for the Board’s officers in May. So far no one has formally declared their candidacy for president.