About Marie

Throughout my career as an Employment Lawyer I have acted for charities, organisations, vulnerable individuals and other faith groups. As a young mother I fought against cancer and winning this battle made me want to give back and do more for our community.

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Standing Up

We must all work together to combat antisemitism. I will campaign fearlessly to protect our rights to practice Brit Milah, Shechita and Kashrut. I will fight all forms of delegitimisation of Israel, fight BDS and support UJS to ensure every campus is safe for Jewish students.

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Standing Out

Let’s celebrate Jewish life across the UK. I want to champion the amazing Jewish contributions to British society, enhance social cohesion amongst other faith communities and sustain our special relationship with Israel as a central part of our identity.

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Standing For

I want to help make the Board more relevant to the Jewish community. My priorities will be to help to develop the next generation of Deputies, ensure that under-represented groups have a voice and establish a Patron system to assist the Board with fundraising.

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Marie van der Zyl

The Right President at the Right Time
for the Board of Deputies of British Jews Deputies

With the unprecedented challenges of a pandemic, national lockdown and fighting antisemitism in the Labour Party, these past few years have been some of the toughest times British Jews have faced in recent history.

I never imagined that my first three years as President would be so demanding, and yet, with each challenge, rather than feeling worn down, I have felt energised by the steadfast dedication of our communal institutions, our schools, care homes, advocacy groups, synagogues and leaders; especially our deeply-committed Deputies.

Three years on and I have never been so proud to be a British Jew. Our community has shown its characteristic resilience, whether it has been through our refusal to stand down when intimidated by the racism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, or via our daily determination, despite our disproportionate losses, to keep standing up and keep choosing to creatively celebrate our Jewish way of life.

We might have been forgiven for putting our own interests first, but we have continued standing up for Israel and for others, whether it has been the Uyghur Muslims in China, or the other minorities in the UK, who, like us, have needed to protect their burial rites and rituals during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jewish life no longer fits into neat boxes, and the pandemic has reminded us that our community is a diverse place with endless virtual and in-person opportunities to stand together, shoulder to shoulder…

The next few years will be vital for our community and the Board must stay relevant to meet all challenges. I will continue to work tirelessly for our community, as I have throughout the antisemitism crisis, throughout the pandemic, and throughout the last three years.

It has been the greatest honour of my life to stand up with you.
We have done so much, but there is so much more still to do,
which is why I am standing again to serve as your President.