Penelope Conway – International President of ICJW and Interfaith Co-ordinator

“I joined the LJW in the early 70s. A friend suggested we go along to the newly formed Oakwood and Winchmore Hill group and I agreed. Her mother and mother in law were stalwarts of the Clissold Group but I had no family history with the League. My parents had done all their volunteering through our synagogue.


I enjoyed that first meeting and liked the idea of voluntary service and NO fundraising!


In the early days I helped run a respite group for mothers with differently abled children. We looked after the children while the mothers enjoyed a coffee morning. Later I delivered Meals on Wheels with my children in the back of the car.


One day I offered to represent the group at a Head Office meeting of Social Issues and as the secretary of the committee, Rita Newman had been my Rabbitzen when I was growing up, she co opted me and that was the start of my involvement with the LJW Head Office.


I later became chairman of Oakwood Group and also chaired the Social Issues and Health Matters Committees. I also edited the LJW magazine for several years before the advent of computers.


In the late 70s I was involved in setting up the LJW Counselling Service in London.


In 2000 I became Chair of Executive and from 2003-7 was National President. After that I became more involved with ICJW and was the UK Vice-President. I now chair the Status of Women committee of ICJW.


I am still a member of the LJW Executive, having the role of Interfaith Co-ordinator and I am  the tutor for Hand in Hand volunteers which I really enjoy.


The LJW has trained me and used my skills, allowed me to travel and make many great friends all over the world. What more could you ask for from a voluntary organisation?”