British Jewry’s representative body has proposed capping the number of consecutive and total stints its representatives can serve, in order to bring in “new ideas”.
In a position paper published this week, Board of Deputies’ senior vice-president Richard Verber said: “Term limits are hardly new.”
Verber suggested introducing the concept of terms of service, “to consist of a defined number of years, and establish the number of consecutive terms that can be served by a member before needing to stand down for a term or two… before being eligible to stand for election again”.
He added: “It is also proposed that we establish a maximum cumulative number of terms that a Deputy can serve.”
Before being elected senior vice-president two years ago, Verber set up a pressure group called ‘Changing the Board.’ He campaigned on “overhauling the Board’s governance structures” and “a representative Board, with power in the hands of Deputies” but did not mention term limits for Deputies.
In the paper published on Friday, he said: “Most organisations benefit from a regular infusion of new people, perspective and ideas, while valuing the experience that participants who have been there longer bring to the discussion.”
Currently Deputies can serve for as many years as they or their constituency wish, and Verber said that where Deputies had served many years, “the majority of congregants may not realise that they have an opportunity to become involved, possibly because elections are rarely held, or because it would seem disrespectful to stand against a more senior congregant”.