Jo Grose to become first female Chief Executive of the United Synagogue

Jo Grose, the United Synagogue’s director of communities and strategy, has been appointed as its new chief executive.

She will succeed Steven Wilson, who has been at the helm since 2014, early next year as the first woman to become the professional head of the country’s largest synagogue body.

Looking forward to her new challenge, she said, “There is enormous potential within the United Synagogue to connect British Jews to each other, to their communities, to their heritage and to Jewish values, as well as to develop leaders for the future.”

Her priorities, she said, include “empowering young adults to build communities that meet their needs, attracting and retaining the best Rabbinic couples and creating every possible opportunity for diverse and strong leadership teams.”

Born in Manchester, she started as an educational publisher before working in the Jewish community as a director of PaJeS and PJ Library.

She joined the US to implement its 2015 strategic review, launching programmes in community engagement and development.

Michael Goldstein, president of the United Synagogue, said, “We are delighted to be able to appoint someone of Jo’s calibre. Jo impressed the recruitment panel with her clear vision for the United Synagogue and management experience, combined with her passion for our work and desire to take the charity forward to engage even more of our members.

“Jo has developed a close working relationship with many of our communities that will enable her to build on the great work she has achieved to date.”

A member of Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue, she has for the past year been chair of the local Yavneh Multi-Academy trust, overseeing the college and primary school.

Richard Taylor, who joined the US in 2013 and has served as finance director and chief operating officer, has been appointed chief financial officer.

David Collins, who was the first fieldworker for Tribe, the US’s youth division in 2006, and has held several roles in the organisation, becoming chief programmes officer in 2018, is to become chief operating officer and deputy chief executive.