The Chief Rabbi’s director of communications Jeremy Newmark is to leave at the end of March after discussions nine months ago with Rabbinate Trust chairman Peter Sheldon.
Newmark’s departure has sparked a restructure of the comms function and resulted in two redundancies – a full-time media relations officer and a part-time website and comms manager, according to Newmark.
Cooper joins after three years at T-Mobile. He has been appointed to the newly created position of external relations manager, which will cover the responsibilities held previously by Newmark, who reports to Chief Rabbi Professor Jonathan Sacks.
Newmark said of the restructure: ‘This is in line with many integrated PR operations. We’re looking to come up with a way that PR and comms can be more deeply bedded into this office.’
In his new role, Cooper will handle media relations for the Office of the Chief Rabbi, which will cover personal PR for Rabbi Sacks.
In the past, Rabbi Sacks has been unafraid of expressing controversial views on international politics. In 2002 he broke with his usual public support for Israel and its peace plans by criticising the country’s stance towards Palestinians, describing the conflict as ‘tragic’.
As the US and British Governments began issuing threats of invasion to Saddam Hussein, he was one of the few religious leaders to show support for the invasion, albeit on specific conditions.
Cooper will also be resigning his post as Hampstead United Synagogue director of community development when he takes up the post.