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The LJW’s Penelope Conway will be the third British ICJW President

The newly elected President of the International Council of Jewish Women (www.icjw.org) is an Englishwoman, for only the third time in the 100-year history of the organisation.

Penelope Conway lives in Winchmore Hill in North London with her husband Peter, a retired stockbroker. They are active members of Cockfosters & N. Southgate Synagogue, and their children are pursuing careers in London and Los Angeles.

In her professional life, Penelope is an osteopath and a clinical tutor at the University College of Osteopathy, specialising in treating expectant mothers. She was President of the British Osteopathic Association and has chaired the Governing Body of a local Primary School. For several years she was a Trustee of a housing association and is currently Vice Chair of Trustees of a local community centre.

Penelope has been involved in the UK ICJW affiliate, the League of Jewish Women, since 1973, serving as Chairman of her local group (Oakwood and Winchmore Hill) and on many of its national committees, including Social Issues, Interfaith and Health, and setting up their Counselling Service. She is the trainer for the League’s “Hand in Hand” project, teaching volunteers to provide hand and arm massage for the residents and staff of care homes.

Penelope was President of the League from 2003 to 2007 and in that capacity served as a Trustee of NAWO, the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations, the UK affiliate of the European Women’s Lobby.

Penelope became involved with the International Council of Jewish Women in 2000, when June Jacobs was its last British President. She attended ICJW executive meetings and conferences as President of the League, and served as UK Vice President. Prior to her election as President of the organisation, she chaired their Committee on the Status of Women, and in that capacity she attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in 2015.

On May 30th, Penelope will be invested as President of ICJW at their Quadrennial Convention in Sydney, Australia, by the outgoing President Robyn Lenn OAM. Over the next four years of her presidency, she looks forward to extending the organisation’s reach to include women in more Jewish communities around the world, visiting ICJW’s 35 affiliates, and speaking out on their behalf on issues of shared concern.

She says: “ICJW is an inspiring organisation because of the commonality of interests between women who live in very diverse communities. Among the issues that I hope to champion during my Presidency are women’s health concerns, particularly for older women; equality of educational opportunities; the inadequate representation of women in communal leadership roles; the on-going travesty of human trafficking, which ICJW has been campaigning against for over 100 years; and the growing institutional anti-Semitism that we are witnessing throughout the world. I am looking forward to working with an international team of highly motivated women who want to make a difference on all of these issues.”