Ziff confirms he is standing for election as Board president

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Ziff confirms he is standing for election as Board president

A treasurer of the Board, businessman Michael Ziff says he would champion a 'heads down, practical approach' if elected president

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Michael Ziff
Michael Ziff

Michael Ziff has become the latest confirmed name to stand for election as President of the Board of Deputies.

A treasurer of the Board, Leeds-born Ziff announced his campaign saying: “The President must, I believe, listen to and empower its committed, talented and dedicated Deputies to support and advocate for our community.”

In a message to Deputies, Ziff said that after the sad passing of his mother earlier this year he committed himself to say Kaddish in 200 different minyanim.

This allowed him to travel the UK, and make visits to Israel, where he said he “learned so much about our different communities and I listened to your challenges and concerns.”

Pledging to unite the community if made President, Ziff added: “In running businesses, leading Maccabi GB and in chairing my own shul, I have always championed a heads-down, practical approach. I will do that too in leading the BoD.

“The Board and our community are blessed with the most accomplished and exceptional talents. I will bring them together into a President’s Advisory Group, harnessing the skills required to confront our issues head on.

“The BoD must work with and help those organisations dedicated to specific fields to deliver and we will strengthen our partnerships, to achieve the most effective results.”

Ziff said the fight against the rise in antisemitism today, “must go beyond statements and complaints. ”

He said: “It must be led with a strong,practical and collaborative approach. At Maccabi GB, we did that and implemented education campaigns and grassroots’ workshops, that have had deep, lasting results across sports and interfaith settings.

“The Community Security Trust, the Campaign Against Antisemitism, and the Union of Jewish Students, together with other organisations, are vital in this fight.

“We must form a united, combined front. Strong partnerships and listening to those on the ground, will achieve real results against hate.”

He also said the Board “must focus on cultivating a strong sense of identity amongst our community and particularly our young people”.

“A knowledgeable community is a strong community,” said Ziff. “An informed community is a proud community. ”

Ziff joined the family Bradford-based footwear business, Stylo, as a director and in 1990 he joined the Stylo Board as chief executive officer. In 2004, Michael became a director of Town Centre Securities Plc. He also became chairman of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club Members Committee and together with his family have dedicated their lives to philanthropy.

Ziff joins Amanda Bowman, who has been vice-president for six years, the Board’s former public affairs director Phil Rosenberg, and former vice president Dr. Sheila Gewolb, who first stood against incumbent Marie van der Zyl in 2018, in the election, to be held in May.

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