Wanted: high fliers to lead community
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.
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