One of the leaders of Britain’s Jewish community has said he won’t seek a second term as President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Joanthan Arkush wrote a letter to deputies on Friday, saying “having given matters long and careful consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election for a second term.”
After three years as President following on from six years as a Vice President and, he cites the “onerous responsibilities and an intensive workload” of his time as an elected official.
The role requires “a very close and continuous focus on the many challenges for our community and taking strong and effective action to address the issues. The last nine years have been intensive and demanding. I would not have had it any other way. But I have decided that the time has now come to stand aside and let the Board have the benefit of a new leader who will bring fresh qualities and energies to the role.
He adds that: “It has been the greatest privilege to lead this Board and be an advocate for our remarkable British Jewish community.”
Arkush says he has “gone a long way towards fulfilling” aims he set out when first elected as president, which included defending Israel, campaigning against extremists, protecting faith schools and engaging with interfaith activity.
Paying tribute to his colleagues, he says “the community is very fortunate to have such dedicated individuals working for our common good”, adding that he’s “confident that my successor will fill the role with distinction.
The election of the Board’s Honorary Officers for the next three years will take place at the Board meeting on Sunday 13th May.