Jeff Norman has represented Bushey United Synagogue as a Deputy since 2012 but he still
remembers the sense of surprise which he experienced shortly after attending his first

He recalls:

“Like most people who never been involved with the Board I didn’t really have an idea of the range of what they did and I have to say I was really amazed at the range of

The lesson he took was that if he, a regular shul-goer, was not aware of the varied
programme of the Board of Deputies in areas spanning including education, coroners’
services, international relations and Milah, then the vast bulk of his community “would have
no idea”.

Since then, Jeff has taken very seriously the work of publicising the Board’s various
initiatives with regular reports and updates. He says: “I think that’s something that we need
to try and get across more but it’s also the most difficult thing to convey. It’s much easier to
promote a single-issue organisation with an emotive message. We do so many things that
that people really don’t know how to classify us.”

Jeff, a retired Finance Director, grew up in North-West London before moving to Hertfordshire with his wife and two children when the community there was still in its infancy. “I joined the local community which met in a little house behind the police station. Now the shul has about 2,500 members, which is about 1,500 families. So, it’s massive and it is still growing, which is unusual.”

In the light of the 7th October attacks, he is worried about the sharp increase in antisemitism,
particularly as it affects the young in our community. “The antisemitism against schoolchildren and students on campus is something which every Jew in the country is concerned about even if they don’t have kids of that age. It’s absolutely vital that community organisations work together on this. Constructive co-operation is the only things that works.”

He adds: “The vital thing is for the Board to be supported by the entire UK community and retain its influence as the ‘go to’ organisation for Government and other key agencies – now and in the decades ahead.”

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