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MEMBERS OF the Jewish Leadership Council believe that a first contested election for the role of chairman would enhance the organisation’s standing within the community.
The prospect of a contest to succeed Sir Mick Davis, who steps down in May after eight years as chairman, emerged after two men were nominated as candidates last week.
Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the JLC’s education division, Partnerships for Jewish Schools, has confirmed his intention to stand.
The second nominee, understood to be United Synagogue president Stephen Pack, who is a trustee of the council, was still considering whether to accept the nomination at the time of going to press .
Jonathan Joseph, chairman of the Langdon Foundation, an affiliate of the JLC, said the prospect of a contested election should be welcomed.
He said: “The more that senior communal positions are put up for elections, rather than it being Buggins’ turn, the better for the community.”
Henry Grunwald, the founding chairman of the JLC and now one of its vicepresidents, said a contest “would make a difference to the allegations of a lack of openness and transparency”.
But Mr Grunwald believed the earlier arrangement, whereby he chaired the council as president of the Board, was preferable. “In many ways, I regret that the two organisations cannot be chaired by the president of the Board of Deputies,” he said.
In a further step towards greater openness, the JLC has scheduled hustings for candidates later
Mr Goldstein, chief executive of a property investment company, Cain Hoy, has previously worked with Gerald Ronson as deputy chief executive of Heron International.
Originally from Ilford, Essex, he oversaw the redevelopment of the King Solomon High School/Ilford Jewish Primary campus on behalf of the JLC and, outside the council, chairs the Chief Rabbinate Trust, which raises funds for the Chief Rabbi.
His brother Michael sits on the JLC as chairman of the JW3 Centre.
Mr Pack, who retired from leading financial services company PricewaterhouseCooopers in 2010, has clocked up 15 years’ experience as an honorary officer of one of the community’s largest charities, the United Synagogue.
He will step down as US president in July after completing a maximum sixconsecutive-year term.
The new leader of the JLC will be chosen by the members of its council and trustees, although its vice-presidents have no vote.
Apart from the chairman, six nominations have also been received for two vacant trustee posts. A third trustee can be co-opted rather than directly elected.
Possible rivals: Jonathan Goldstein (left) and Stephen Pack