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Richard Verber to stand down from senior Board role citing family commitments

The youngest vice president in Board history said community organisations needed a rethink in order to attract the younger generation to leadership roles

    Richard Verber, the senior vice president of the Board of Deputies, has said he will not be standing for re-election because the role clashes with the demands of bringing up a young family.

    In a statement on Tuesday, the 33-year-old, whose first child was born last year, said  he had made the decision “well before” the president of the Board, Jonathan Arkush, had announced his intention to stand down. Mr Verber had been considered a possible candidate to replace Mr Arkush.

    The youngest vice president in Board history, Mr Verber said Jewish charities needed to rethink how they operated in order to attract the younger generation to communal leadership roles.

    He said: “Whilst my personal situation is my own choice, my decision reflects a wider challenge faced by Jewish charities.

    “Charities need the best trustees possible - even more so in today's challenging third sector climate. How can we harness the talent that exists in our community for people who aren't available for meetings during 'traditional' hours? This includes people with young families - and for mums with childcare commitments in particular. Meetings early in the morning don't work for those doing the school run nor do early evenings if you're on bath time duty.

    “For the Board of Deputies in particular, being president, perhaps more than chairing any other communal charity, currently demands such a commitment that the role is really only open to someone who is retired, self-employed or sufficiently senior in their organisation.”

    In 2015, Mr Verber, who is head of external affairs at World Jewish Relief,  became Board senior vice president as a result of winning the most votes out of all the vice presidential candidates, in what was the largest mandate ever recorded for a vice president. 

    The JC also understands that a dark horse candidate is considering a run for the Board presidency. Brian Mark is deputy for Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland. He has been contacted for comment. 

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