Penelope Conway was invested as President of the International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) at their Quadrennial Convention in Sydney, Australia, on May 30, 2018, by former President Sharon Gustafson.
Penelope is the third British woman to lead this worldwide organization during its 100 year history. Over the next four years, she looks forward to extending the organization’s reach to include women in more Jewish communities around the world, and to speaking out on their behalf on issues of shared concern.
Penelope has been involved in the UK ICJW affiliate, the League of Jewish Women (LJW), since 1973, serving on many of its national committees and as its president from 2003 to 2007. She became actively involved with the International Council of Jewish Women in 2000, attending ICJW executive meetings and conferences and serving as UK Vice President. She chaired the ICJW 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.
In her professional life, Penelope is an osteopath and a clinical tutor at the University College of Osteopathy, specializing in treating expectant mothers. She was President of the British Osteopathic Association and active in the leadership of a local school, community center and housing association. Penelope lives in Winchmore Hill in North London with her husband Peter, a retired stockbroker, and their children are pursuing careers in London and Los Angeles.
Penelope says: “ICJW is an inspiring organization 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.”