FIVE YEARS ago I decided to study in London, and the choice took me directly to the heart of the Anglo-Jewish bubble. Between now and then, I’ve cherished the opportunities that being an active member and leader of this community has offered me.
Of course, that includes a speaking role in last week’s communal delegation to meet the Prime Minister.
Following the rush of speaking directly to David Cameron, I didn’t expect to find myself at the centre of a political row.
It’s been a rather overwhelming week, yet strangely, being questioned by the country’s elected leader has turned out to be the least pressure of the entire experience.
Nevertheless, I’m thoroughly grati- fied that it’s the issue of gender equality and the visibility of women in the Jewish community that has provoked such broad conversations.
Everyone agrees that only one woman in a room of Jewish leaders is not how communal delegations to meet our national leaders should look. However, there’s a difference in opinion around how we go about changing that reality.
I’m frustrated that some suggested attempts to create gender balance are tokenistic, that giving women roles and platforms undermines female ability and starves the male leadership who have worked so hard for the opportunity to get around the table too.
Sorry, but I’m afraid I have to call your bluff.
It’s not tokenistic to insist that women deserve — and are still lacking — equal access to these opportunities. That implies that women need to “do better”, rather than expect communal leaders to accept responsibility for embracing gender equality.