WATCH out for changes at the Board of Deputies!
That’s the advice of new deputy Karen Solomon, who will be representing the Cheetham Hebrew Congregation.
Mrs Solomon, of Prestwich, takes over from her husband, Raymond, who spent six years as Cheetham shul’s deputy.
It follows outgoing president Jonathan Arkush’s call for more women to join the Board as deputies.
She said: “I hope I can help to make some changes. I want to be able to be a voice for the Zionist side of our community and when it comes to fighting antisemitism.”
Mrs Solomon, who is also executive director of the Zionist Central Council, is also planning to target the left-wing group Yachad.
It was controversially voted on to the Board’s membership four years ago.
She explained: “I am very anti-Yachad and I will be quite vocal in that. They do too many things which are anti-Israel and talk about settlements as being an obstacle to peace — which they are not.
“Yachad also deals with allegedly anti-Israel organisations such as Oxfam.”
Mrs Solomon also wants to meet more MPs and councillors in the wake of the antisemitism crisis which has engulfed the Labour Party.
“They need educating about Zionism and Judaism,” she added.
“Many of them are ignorant when it comes to Israel, although that is prevalent right across the board.”
Mrs Solomon, who also chaired the Manchester Yom Ha’atzmaut organising committee for eight years, serves on the Manchester Jewish Representative Council executive.
And she believes that Ms van der Zyl’s appointment is a great step forward for the Board.
Mrs Solomon continued: “It is showing its modernisation and that it is going forward in the right direction.
“Most of the Board’s leadership is now made up of women and I think the new president, Marie van der Zyl, will be great in the role.
“She is very focused, a lawyer, eloquent and a massive Zionist, too.”