[Gal 1:14 NIV] (14) I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
Paul seems to be writing to gentiles and explains that he was biased TOWARD Judaism rather than against it, so it wouldn't make sense for him to make up a gospel contrary to Judaism. He seems to be pointing to the level of achievement he had reached to show that he would certainly not frivolously let that status go.
But Paul was a Pharisee and it seems to me that they were somewhat congregationalist.
So what exalted and valuable status might he have had in the Jewish community?
Sanhedrin? Or maybe just the praise of men?