More members of the Board of Deputies support unification with the Jewish Leadership Council than oppose the idea, according to a new survey.
Almost half, 49 per cent, backed a merger with the JLC with 41 per cent opposed and 10 per cent undecided.
But consultants hired to gauge opinion warned that the process of unification could be "slower than previously anticipated".
Their report, which was also based on interviews and focus groups with deputies, was discussed on Monday night by the liaison group which has overseen talks on uniting the two bodies over the past year. Just over half of deputies, 55 per cent, took part in the survey.
There was an "urgent need" for the JLC and Board to remedy differences and gaps in relations between them, the consultants said.
A Board representative accused of making racist comments by fellow deputies has resigned.
Leeds member Antony Cohen had told a meeting two weeks ago: "I don't care about any Palestinians, I only care about the Jewish people in this country and in Israel."
President Vivian Wineman said he "utterly condemned and deplored" the remarks.