Question-mark on Board of Deputies model

David Vance’s A Tangled Web has some links to a couple of interesting new blogs.

One that caught my eye is Pub Philosopher who has a post on the Jewish Board of Deputies that is very interesting in the light of the proposal last year that the Irish community in Britain should create a similar organisation. (An idea which, incidentally, didn’t go down too well with the existing Federation of Irish Societies.)

Here’s Malcolm Rogers in the Irish Post last year:

What I propose is that we form a Board of Representatives, drawn from the Irish community, which will act as a people’s parliament. And we don’t need anybody’s permission to establish it. The Board won’t have any executive powers of course, but if built on solid foundations, would yield huge influence both in Britain and in Ireland.

I would suggest we use the model of the Jewish Board of Deputies.

The board is fully representative, drawn from a cross-section of the Jewish community throughout Britain today. Deputies are elected from Jewish community organisations, including social and welfare organisations, synagogues, and local community bodies.

Ande here’s journalist Leslie Bunder on the Board:

Sometimes I’m not really sure where the Board of Deputies and indeed its president Henry Grunwald are coming from or indeed who they think they are.

They boast on their web site "The voice of British Jewry" and in a recent Guardian comment piece, Henry Grunwald introduced himself as the "elected leader of the British Jewish community".

Mr Grunwald failed to put into context or explain a bit more about who he was elected by.  The Board itself despite claiming to be "the voice of British Jews" is not exactly the most open organisation and indeed, is a group that is now overdue some changes especially electoral.

How long before some bright spark suggests the Federation of Irish Societies as a model, I wonder.







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