Marie van der Zyl was elected President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews in May 2018.
She became a Deputy is 2012 and was elected Vice President in 2015. In the past three years she has played a crucial part in the fight against antisemitism in the Labour Party. Her quote, labelling the Chakrabarti report as a “whitewash”, was carried widely across national media. Marie was at the forefront of the campaign against the so-called “cab-rank” policy, by which the Inner North London Coroner delayed the release of bodies to Jewish families. The High Court recently ruled that this policy was discriminatory. Her negotiations with King’s College London resulted in its adoption of the internationally recognised IHRA definition of antisemitism and she has energetically pursued interfaith relations with Britain’s faith communities.
Marie, who represents JLGB, is married with two girls. In her professional life she is a solicitor specialising in employment /equalities law and a partner at Ince GD.
Dr Sheila Gewolb DL was elected Senior Vice President in 2018. She now chairs the Board of Deputies International Division. Sheila has represented Cardiff United Synagogue as a Deputy since 2009. In 2015, she was elected Vice President and became chair of the Community and Education Division. As well as supporting small and regional communities, she expanded the Board’s outreach work so that there are now five copies of the Jewish Living Experience exhibition based throughout the UK. She also initiated training for volunteer ambassadors to speak about Judaism to non-Jewish school children and other groups. Sheila is married to Roger, who is the Deputy for St. John’s Wood Synagogue. They have four daughters and four grandsons who live in Cumbria, Miami, Gibraltar and Paris.
Edwin Shuker is a London-based businessman with a wide range of educational, communal and charitable involvements. He chairs the Communities and Education Division. He has been Deputy for Woodside Park United since 2003, he is a Trustee of ‘Mitzvah Day’, ‘Sephardi Voices’, and is on the International Advisory Council of ‘Limmud’. Currently, he is a Special Envoy to the President of the European Jewish Congress for Interfaith and refugees. Edwin regularly delivers presentations on Middle Eastern topics, especially on the issue of Jews from Arab countries, at prestigious venues, including the House of Commons, European Parliament and the United Nations. Iraqi born, Edwin speaks fluent Hebrew as well as Arabic as a mother tongue.
Amanda chairs the Defence Division that focuses on the defence of Jewish freedoms, rights and security, specifically all forms of antisemitism, racism, anti-Israel extremism and bigotry. As a Deputy for The Hampstead Synagogue since 2012, she was Chair of BODSA (the Board’s Social Action Group) and it’s first Gender Equality Champion before being elected Vice President. Outside of the Board, Amanda specialises in communications, responsible business and international development working with multinational companies and international not for profits. A mother of two grown up daughters, Amanda is married to Anthony. She enjoys travelling and entertaining. Her guilty pleasures: soap operas and IPhone Sudoku.
As Treasurer, Stuart MacDonald is privileged to chair the Finance and Organisation Division, whose members help the Board’s professional staff with financial and organisational matters. He has been Deputy for Liberal Judaism since 2010. After contributing to charities like the Joint Israel Appeal, CARE and the Anti-Heroin Campaign, Stuart served as Vice Chair of ORT UK, Trustee of the London Musicians’ Collective and on the Actors’ Centre Advisory Board. Currently, he is a Trustee of Merchavim and Alternatives4Children and sits on the Advisory Boards of the Jewish Heritage Foundation, Israel Bonds and ROPES. Stuart speaks several languages and runs an international corporate finance firm active across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, including Israel. Stuart is also an award winning broadcaster, with a long running radio show on London’s Resonance FM.