Race is on to lead the Board

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

THE CON­TEST to be the next pres­i­dency of the Board of Deputies has be­gun af­ter the for­mer pres­i­dent of the United Syn­a­gogue, Peter Shel­don, an­nounced his can­di­dacy for the elec­tions next May.

Henry Grun­wald, the cur­rent pres­i­dent, will step down next sum­mer af­ter com­plet­ing his sec­ond three-year term, the max­i­mum al­lowed.

Mr Shel­don, 66, who joined the Board two years ago as a deputy for the United Syn­a­gogue, said: “A num­ber of lead­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, and par­tic­u­larly within the Board of Deputies it­self, thought it would be a good idea for me to put my can­di­dacy for­ward.

“I’m go­ing to be for­mu­lat­ing a de­tailed plat­form. But I’ve al­ready in­di­cated that the first thing to do is to es­tab­lish where the Board stands in re­la­tion to the lead­er­ship of the com­mu­nity and its re­la­tion with the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil. I want to bring the JLC and Board closer to­gether.”

As pres­i­dent of the United Syn­a­gogue, Mr Shel­don served on the JLC, which Mr Grun­wald was in­stru­men­tal in es­tab­lish­ing in 2003 and cur­rently chairs.

Other po­ten­tial chal­lengers for the Board’s lead­er­ship have yet to de­clare their hand. One of the three vice-pres­i­dents, Flo Kauf­man, who chairs the board of gov­er­nors of the Euro­pean Jewish Congress but who, con­sti­tu­tion­ally, must re­lin­quish her cur­rent Board po­si­tion next year, said: “I haven’t made known my in­ten­tions. I’m keep­ing my op­tions open.”

Paul Edlin, a sec­ond vice-pres­i­dent, said a bid for the pres­i­dency is “not some­thing I am con­sid­er­ing”.

Vi­vian Wine­man, who topped the vice-pres­i­den­tial poll two years ago and whose name is also be­ing mooted among deputies, said: “It’s aw­fully early to be talk­ing about th­ese things.”

Jerry Lewis, a for­mer vice-pres­i­dent of the Board and a deputy for more than 30 years, said that he had been “ap­proached by many deputies hop­ing I would con­sider stand­ing” but he de­clined to say whether he would.

He said he was “aghast” that spec­u­la­tion had be­gun over Mr Grun­wald’s suc­ces­sor.

PHOTO: VICKY AL­HAD­EFF

Peter Shel­don: hat in the ring

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