One of the favourites to become the next Board of deputies president has dramatically ruled herself out of the contest, writes Justin Cohen.

Laura Marks has returned from a month in Israel

Laura Marks has returned from a month in Israel

Current senior vice-president Laura Marks, the founder of Mitzvah Day, had been widely tipped to run in May’s contest. But she has now revealed to Jewish News that she will instead run for vice-president.

She said it had been an “incredibly difficult” decision over which she had agonised but felt she could not focus on her work in the interfaith field and maintain her family life while occupying the top spot. Last November’s Mitzvah day saw a record number of interfaith projects.

She said: “The Board is a wonderful organisation and I am proud to be part of it. But to be president requires full-time commitment to a range of issues, including developing the role of the Board within the community.

“While supporting the new president, I need to be more focused. After the conflict in Gaza and the atrocities in Paris, I believe that the agenda where I can make a difference for the community is to focus on our essential interfaith relationships, community cohesion and inclusion. That way, in challenging times, we will continue to be a resilient, confident community.”

Only Alex Brummer has so far declared his intentions to run for the presidency to succeed Vivian Wineman. Jonathan Arkush is still expected to throw his hat in to the ring.

  • To follow: Laura Marks writes in the Jewish News TODAY.