My election diary

17 Jul

This is a guest post by Hana Birks of Buckhurst Hill Masorti. Follow her on Twitter @HanaBirks

I blame Nigel from our shul. He phoned me up when I was in Israel for a wedding and convinced me that being an Under-35 rep for Buckhurst Hill Masorti would be a good idea. “Oh go on then!” I said whilst I necked another beer and a couple of months later I was clutching my new security pass in a room full of a lot of angry shouting Jews and wondered what I had let myself in for. As meeting after shouty meeting took place, the other Under-35s I’d chummed up with spent more time in the coffee shop around the corner questioning our sanity for signing up for this madhouse.

We slowly realised that getting anything done at the Board would have to happen at a Division. Then along came the Changing the Board movement.  I hesitated until the last minute before deciding to run for the Finance & Organisation Division. And boy was it a close call. Due to an admin error, I wasn’t even returned as a Deputy until one day before the deadline for submitting nominations. After a frantic series of emails and phone calls, two trips to the Board’s offices and one trip to the Old Bailey (don’t ask), my papers were in.

I’d done it now. I dutifully typed up my manifesto, took out the commas to get it down to 200 words and sent it off. Meanwhile, everyone else got canvassing, except me. I couldn’t find the email with all the Deputies contact details. Clearly this match was not meant to be.

Then along came the Facebook canvassing pages. Phew. Given that I knew a grand total of two other Deputies personally, I had no choice but to get on the pages, ask the other candidates questions, send them messages and find out who had even heard of Buckhurst Hill. Most hadn’t, but they were very nice about it.

Election Day arrived. My printer broke and I couldn’t print my photo onto a postcard-sized piece of paper. There was no way I was using the spare passport photo unless the Deputies wanted to elect someone with a cross Parking Attendant/axe murderer grimace.  My manifesto card was therefore a surrealist postcard of the Mona Lisa with a moustache scribbled on. My slogan? “Change…but recognisably so”.

Believe it or not, I got in! When the email came round, I thought this must be an admin error. The Board’s staff assured me that it was no mistake.  Looks like I’d better get to work then.

Click here to see the list of Changing the Board winners.

Click here to see a short piece of analysis by Richard Verber.

Please click here to see our note to editors.


3 Responses to “My election diary”

  1. Nigel Lawrence July 17, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    I seem to be to blame for everything else at the Shul as well. Delighted to see some change at the Board. I actually should take all the credit for my insight and visionary thinking in asking Hana to stand. Looking forward to the victory celebrations and open topped bus parade through the streets of Essex. Well done Hana


  1. And the winner is… « Changing the Board - July 17, 2012

    […] here to see a post by Hana Birks: “My election […]

  2. Changing the Board storm the Board of Deputies elections « Changing the Board - July 17, 2012

    […] Categories Uncategorized ← And the winner is… My election diary → […]

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