A controversial motion to accept Yachad UK as a member of the Board of Deputies has overwhelmingly passed by 135 votes to 61.
Sunday’s vote sees the ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace movement for British Jews’, which some members of the community have attacked for being too critical of Israel, finally given official communal representation.
Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld told Jewish News: “We are delighted to have been accepted into the Board of Deputies with an overwhelming majority of deputies voting yes to Yachad’s inclusion. This is a reflection of the fact the majority of the community welcomes and respects the diversity of opinions that exists, and we kook forward to taking part in the democratic decision making process of the community.”
A statement from the The Honorary Officers of the Board of Deputies, outlined support for the “clear decision to accept the recommendation of its constitutional committee by a two-thirds majority”.
It added: “While self-evidently some do not agree with this decision, we urge everyone to accept the decisive outcome of the democratic process and to move ahead now with the job of representing the full range of interests and voices of the Jewish community to the outside world. This vote is about inclusiveness and does not change the Board’s attitude to Israel.”
Board treasurer Laurence Brass tweeted: “I have never felt prouder of the Board than I do today. An historic result for Yachad.“
Deputy Joe Mills said he supported the bid “not just because I support the group, but also because I think that the Board has to be as representative as possible”.
Mills criticised those who opposed the motion, highlighting alleged double standards, by stressing that “ those who big up Israel as a beacon of democracy with a lively debating culture in a sea of autocracy where silence prevails are precisely those who want to stifle debate.”