Danny Allen has long been involved in the Jewish community, but it was when he moved to London after being a member of Maidenhead Synagogue for over 30 years that he decided to stand for election as a Deputy.
Having joined Alyth Synagogue, he began to take parts of the service as well as participation in community life. He recalls: “The one role I’ve never taken on was to be on the Board of Deputies, so when the elections came around I thought I would put myself forward.”
His first year in the role has been an interesting one, punctuated by a private visit to Uzbekistan, during which time he gained a rare opportunity to visit the Jewish community there.
Danny says: “We had a wonderful guide who told us that there was a synagogue with a Friday night service and he took us along. We did rather rely on him for interpreting before the service because they spoke only Russian. What I found fascinating was that this was a very ancient community, although much diminished in size now.”
Danny was impressed by the level of integration between Jews and the predominantly Muslim population. He says: “There’s no feeling of animosity that you might worry about here. There’s no security needed or anxiety about antisemitism. It was a great experience to meet Jews there – it’s a wonderful country and almost completely unknown to us.”