MANCHESTER NEWS
Rep Council all set to be 'streamlined'

DELEGATES to the Manchester Jewish Representative Council will next month have the opportunity to make major changes to the organisation that represents the community.

A discussion on the new structure which will revolve around six working groups that will focus on the council's work will take place at its monthly meeting on Sunday, February 8 (10.30am).

The proposed new constitution has been sent to all delegates.

Another key change is the splitting of current president Sharon Bannister's role with the addition of a chairman of executive.

He or she will oversee council operations, while Mrs Bannister will continue to chair meetings and deal with external relationships.

The six working groups will be public relations, education, publicity, fundraising, youth and community and antisemitism and human rights.

Mrs Bannister said: "This is an exciting opportunity.

"The council was formed in 1919 and since then we have continued to represent the community through difficult, as well as positive, times. We now need to change our structure so that we have a council which can more accurately meet the needs of our community."

The council's current executive consists of six honorary officers and 39 representatives elected in groups from institutions, synagogues, women's organisations, youth organisations, magistrates and councillors, Board of Deputies members and honorary members.

Five more can also be co-opted, giving a maximum potential of 50 members on the executive plus all past presidents.

Vice-president Jonny Wineberg said: "In addition to being unwieldy, this has not been conducive to producing a pro-actively minded body with executive members having clear roles.

"One area of debate is whether past presidents and future past chairmen will continue to have an automatic position on the executive.

"This could be replaced by a new committee of past presidents and past chairmen.

"It could be chaired by the president, who may make recommendations and advise the executive.

"This issue will be debated as an amendment to the proposed changes."

The new executive will have eight officers and 12 executive secretaries with clear roles.

Four more can also be co-opted, giving a maximum potential of 24 members on the executive - fewer than half the size it is currently.

Mr Wineberg added: "It is a credit to many colleagues who have taken this forward and gives the council the opportunity to be the dynamic, effective body that the community needs and deserves.

"We are already seeing younger people getting involved as we start to implement change.

"It now needs embedding constitutionally."

The February meeting will also welcome international lawyer Andrew Rosemarine as guest speaker.

A former fellow of the Harry S Truman Institute for Peace, he writes on the Middle East and Europe for various newspapers.

Mr Rosemarine will speak on French Jewry Under Attack - What We Should Do?


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