The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY SI­MON ROCKER

IT MAY not have been as rev­o­lu­tion­ary as women bish­ops, but Bri­tain’s largest Ortho­dox syn­a­gogue group took a his­toric step last night by voting women on to its ex­ec­u­tive.

Claire Le­mer of Hamp­stead, Leonie Lewis and Doreen Sa­muels of Pin­ner and Jac­qui Zinkin of Gold­ers Green de­feated two other can­di­dates for the seats re­served for women as United Syn­a­gogue trustees.

Dr Le­mer, awarded the Bri­tish Em­pire Medal in last month’s Birth­day Honours, said: “It’s won­der­ful to be part of an his­toric oc­ca­sion, and I am de­lighted the new trustee board rep­re­sents so well the di­ver­sity that makes the US such a unique or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

US pres­i­dent, Stephen Pack of Hadley Wood, was elected un­op­posed for a sec­ond three-year term. He an­nounced to loud ap­plause the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s “very first set of fe­male hon­orary of­fi­cers”.

Brian Marke­son (Wat­ford) be­came trea­surer, while Stephen Fen­ton (Bushey), Rus­sell Kett (Bel­mont) and Stephen Gold­man (Edg­ware) beat four other male con­tenders for the re­main­ing posts.

Women had pre­vi­ously at­tended trustee meet­ings as ob­servers. The move fol­lows the elec­tion of the first fe­male chair­men of lo­cal US syn­a­gogues last year. This spring, 11 fe­male syn­a­gogue chair­men were elected, along with 17 vice-chair­men.

Mrs Sa­muels said: “Ev­ery­thing I be­lieve one should be a trustee for has come to pass be­cause we have equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women and we have got two new trustees un­der the age of 40.”

Mr Pack’s ef­forts to en­cour­age younger faces to take a role in the run­ning of the US were re­warded with the elec­tion of Dr Le­mer, 37 and Mr Gold­man, 38. Mr Gold­man said he was shocked but happy at the re­sult.

It was also the first trustee elec­tion where US coun­cil mem­bers could vote on­line, with 92 choos­ing the elec­tronic op­tion and 58 pre­fer­ring the more tra­di­tional method of putting a bal­lot paper in a box.

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