Wanted: high fliers to lead com­mu­nity

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JENNI FRAZER

THE JEWISH Com­mu­nity Cen­tre for London’s an­nounce­ment that it is seek­ing a new chief ex­ec­u­tive means that three high-pro­file Jewish com­mu­nity posts are now up for grabs.

Aside from the JCC job, the chief ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion at Bi­com, the Bri­tain Is­rael Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Re­search Cen­tre, un­til re­cently held by Lorna Fitzsi­mons; and the chief ex­ec­u­tive role at the United Jewish Is­rael Ap­peal, whose out­go­ing CEO is Doug Krik­ler, are both be­ing va­cated.

The new chief ex­ec­u­tive of the JCC will ini­tially work along­side in­cum­bent Nick Viner, who joined the or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2005.

Mr Viner will stay on un­til the open­ing of the JCC’S newly-built com­mu­nity cen­tre, sched­uled to open in au­tumn 2013.

Deb­bie Klein, chair­man of the JCC board, said: “We’re very ex­cited to be re­cruit­ing for this cru­cial role. It’s a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity for some­one to stamp their im­print on the fu­ture of London Jewry by trans­form­ing Jewish life in the cap­i­tal.”

Mr Viner joined the JCC af­ter 20 years at the Bos­ton Con­sult­ing Group where he was a se­nior part­ner. He has over­seen the tran­si­tion of the or­gan­i­sa­tion — the brain­child of Dame Vivien Duffield — from so­cial and cul­tural “cuckoo”, whose di­verse pro­grammes take place at a num­ber of venues across the cap­i­tal, to the plan­ning and de­liv­ery of the new build­ing on Swiss Cot­tage’s Finch­ley Road.

Mr Viner said: “Pro­gram­m­ming and run­ning a thriv­ing com­mu­nity build­ing re­quires an en­tirely dif­fer­ent set of skills. It has been an im­mense priv­i­lege to lead the JCC to this point, but now it’s time to be­gin the han­dover to the per­son who will take the or­gan­i­sa­tion for­ward and en­able it to ful­fil its po­ten­tial.”

WHO­EVER takes the reins of the JCC will be in charge of Bri­tish Jewry’s most ex­pen­sive cap­i­tal project ever, cost­ing £50 mil­lion to build.

Since it was mod­elled on the com­mu­nity cen­tres that have long been a fea­ture of Amer­i­can Jewry, its board may look over­seas for the next head.

But home-grown can­di­dates could in­clude Abi­gail Mor­ris, who last month joined the Jewish Mu­seum in London as chief ex­ec­u­tive. She com­bines creative and communal ex­pe­ri­ence as a for­mer artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Soho Theatre, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Jewish Women’s Aid and di­rec­tor of eth­i­cal think-tank Re­spon­sea­bil­ity.

An­other con­tender could be Josephine Bur­ton, co-founder of arts agency YAD, which has spe­cialised in Jewish pro­duc­tions and col­lab­o­rated in events with the JCC.

Laura Marks, the founder of Mitz­vah Day, has proved she can cre­ate ac­tiv­i­ties that can in­spire en­thu­si­asm right across the com­mu­nity.

Or the JCC might look wider afield to fig­ures such as Tim Supple, for­mer artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Young Vic and di­rec­tor of a mem­o­rable An­glo-in­dian pro­duc­tion of

five years ago. In 2005 he and Josephine Bur­ton ran the Dash Arts Jewish fes­ti­val.

PHOTO: BLACK EZRA-COLE

Mayor of London and self-de­clared part-jew Boris John­son met Chabad’s Rabbi Nach­man Su­dak ( left) and Rabbi Bentzi Su­dak ( right) at Chabad Lubav­itch Chil­dren’s Cen­tre in Stam­ford Hill last week

Tim Supple

Laura Marks

Abi­gail Mor­ris

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