Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership

A snapshot of the Jewish community’s main organisations in summer 2011 revealed that women comprise only a fifth of all trustees, a quarter of chief executives and a quarter of members of the elected Body, the Board of Deputies. 

British Jewish women are high educational and professional achievers: the 2001 Census demonstrated that in the top occupational categories, Jewish women matched and in most cases proportionally out-performed men in the general population. However, the Jewish community is failing to benefit from their skills and expertise at a leadership level, where women are significantly under-represented.

The Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership – an initiative of the Jewish Leadership Council – was set up to strengthen the community by addressing this gender imbalance in Jewish communal leadership.

In December 2011 the Commission published initial research on the current situation of women in the Jewish Community in a report: “Gender Imbalance- the status quo“.

In March 2012 it subsequently carried out a consultation on initial proposals. During this phase the Commission undertook elements of both quantitative and qualitative research. To view the quantitative research report, please click here. To view the research report evaluating the responses of the surveys sent to communal organisations, please click here.

On 2 July 2012 the Commission published its recommendations and findings to help the Jewish community to reach a situation where women are properly and appropriately represented at leadership level.

To read a copy of the Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership report, please click here.

From this initiative Women in Jewish Leadership (WJL) was born and is now a project of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, working in partnership with Lead, the leadership development division of the Jewish Leadership Council.

WJL has evolved to implement the recommendations of the Commission on Women in Jewish Leadership (CWJL). At the heart of these recommendations was a recognition that change needs to come both from women themselves, both individually and collectively, and from the Jewish community’s organisations and institutions.

Women in Jewish Leadership is Co-Chaired by Norma Brier OBE and Laura Marks OBE.

To find out more about the work WJL are doing please visit