Phil Rosenberg elected new Board president

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Phil Rosenberg elected new Board president

Brondesbury Park deputy Phil Rosenberg succeeds Marie van der Zyl as leader of the main communal organisation

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Aged 38, Rosenberg, who previously worked as the Board's public affairs head, becomes the youngest ever president to head the communal organisation.
Aged 38, Rosenberg, who previously worked as the Board's public affairs head, becomes the youngest ever president to head the communal organisation.

Phil Rosenberg has been elected new president of the Board of Deputies.

At a packed and vibrant election meeting at JW3 in north London, Rosenberg topped the poll after around 300 deputies cast their votes on their chosen candidate to succeed out-going president Marie van der Zyl.

Aged 38, Rosenberg, who previously worked as the Board’s public affairs head, becomes the youngest ever president to head the communal organisation.

Final voting figures showed that Rosenberg received 124 votes, including second preferences, while his nearest challenger Amanda Bowman received 106 votes.

His victory was confirmed by Van der Zyl on Sunday evening.

In his victory speech Rosenberg, who works for public affairs firm Fleetwood Strategy, said deputies had succeeded in electing the “future.”

Also confirmed as senior vice-president was Adrian Cohen, who was elected alongside Andrew Gilbert and Jeremy Michaelson. Ben Crowne becomes the new Board treasurer after he was elected unopposed.

Michael Ziff, previously Board treasurer, former senior vice-president Sheila Gewolb, ex-vice-president Bowman, and Rosenberg, had participated in a series of hustings over the past week’s in the run up to the elections.

One female communal figure noted how the result left the Board without female representation at senior level.

Sunday’s meeting saw another lively Q&A session take place with all candidates, before the Board held its regular monthly plenary session.

There was warm praise for out-going president Marie van der Zyl from many deputies in the hall. Speakers also noted the vital work done by the Board in recent years, not least since the October 7 Hamas massacre in Israel.

There was also recognition of the vital work done regionally by the communal organisation, and also internationally through meetings with many ambassadors and diplomats.

Elsewhere there was recognition of the Board’s innovative work on issues as wide-ranging as racial inclusivity, LGBT+ matters, and critically the Board’s stance in favour of a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.

Vice-president Edwin Shuker spoke passionately about the work of the Board’s education division.

He also praised the “incredible” work done by Board chief executive Michael Wegier.

Shuker also praised the out-going president saying she was “a winner” who had shown “extraordinary dedication” in her role.

Former Board presidents Jonathan Arkush and Vivian Wineman were among those to attend Sunday’s election event.

The presidential election took place at a critical time in the Board’s history as it seeks to affirm its position as the representative body of the British Jewish community, having been established in 1760.

In recent years the Board has faced the challenge of new organisations often seeking to exploit grassroots opinion over often heated issues, including the best way to tackle antisemitism and conflicting views around Israel and its relationship with the diaspora.

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