US says Board seen to 'lack leadership'


Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman was under fresh pressure this week after the United Synagogue issued a letter commenting on the Board's "perceived lack of effective leadership".

But US president Stephen Pack made clear on Wednesday that it did not support moves to oust him from office.

Mr Pack explained that his letter - sent to representatives of US congregations on the Board - was a "wake-up call" to the Board's executive, reflecting concern over its performance during the Gaza conflict and the recent controversial joint statement with the MCB.

"The key message that we want them to understand is that there is a huge amount of disquiet among grassroots members," he said.

"We are not calling for Vivian's head. If we felt that, we would have said so. At a time of crisis, the community has to pull together. The act of forcing a resignation would not be appropriate."

But former Board vice-president Jerry Lewis has called for Mr Wineman to resign in a resolution which was submitted for debate at the Board's plenary on Sunday week and backed by former Board presidents Lionel Kopelowitz and Eldred Tabachnik.

This week the motion was ruled out of order by the Board's constitutional committee. It said that the resolution amounted to a vote of no-confidence, which required the support of at least 50 deputies to be put to the Board.

In an interview on Salford City Radio's Jewish Hour, Mr Wineman rejected the suggestion that his position was untenable. He said the Board was doing "terrific stuff" in countering boycotts.

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