JLC ‘un­demo­cratic’, says ex-US man

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

A FOR­MER ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil has crit­i­cised its elec­tion for a new head, say­ing the choice of can­di­dates is too nar­row.

Si­mon Hochhauser, a for­mer pres­i­dent of the United Syn­a­gogue, said the nom­i­na­tion process should be re-run un­der new rules and he would stand if he were el­i­gi­ble.

Jonathan Gold­stein, the chair­man of the JLC’s ed­u­ca­tion divi­sion, Part­ner­ships for Jewish Schools, is set to be the coun­cil’s new chair­man fol­low­ing the with­drawal of the sec­ond nom­i­nee, Stephen Pack, from the elec­tion to suc­ceed Sir Mick Davis next month.

But Dr Hochhauser, who cochairs the cir­cum­ci­sion de­fence or­gan­i­sa­tion Mi­lah

UK, said: “As the UK em­barks on an open, demo­cratic and trans­par­ent elec­tion, its Jewish com­mu­nity is ap­point­ing a key leader un­der a man­i­festly nar­row and un­demo­cratic process. Even at this late stage, the JLC should halt its elec­tion in favour of a fair process un­der a re­vised con­sti­tu­tion.”

He had al­ready voiced his dis­sat­is­fac­tion in a let­ter to Sir Mick be­fore Mr Pack pulled out of the con­test on Sun­day.

The JLC chair­man, Dr Hochhauser wrote, was “one of the most im­por­tant po­si­tions in our com­mu­nity. It is there­fore a great shame that can­di­dates for the po­si­tion are be­ing drawn from a rel­a­tively small pool of peo­ple — es­sen­tially a snapshot of the cur­rent heads of var­i­ous de­nom­i­na­tions and char­i­ties, some of them rel­a­tively small, to­gether with JLC trus­tees and VPs [vice-pres­i­dents].” There were, he added, “many more peo­ple in our com­mu­nity who dis­play the skills, back­ground and will­ing­ness to take on this im­por­tant role. I would cer­tainly like to of­fer my own can­di­dacy for this post as I be­lieve that my record in the com­mu­nity, cou­pled with my gen­eral ex­pe­ri­ence and abil­i­ties, should at least put me in

the frame for the nom­i­na­tion and elec­tion process.”

It was vi­tal for the JLC’s cred­i­bil­ity, he said, “that the se­lec­tion of its leader should be seen to be open, demo­cratic and trans­par­ent. The cur­rent process fails each of those tests.”

The JLC, which or­gan­ised the elec­tion un­der a new con­sti­tu­tion agreed this year, de­clined to com­ment on his crit­i­cism.

Mr Gold­stein’s po­si­tion must still be rat­i­fied by the JLC’s coun­cil and trus­tees. He is due to an­swer ques­tions in a hus­tings sched­uled for next week.

Mr Pack said his with­drawal been “a most dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion as I think I am uniquely qual­i­fied to take the JLC to a new level”.

The JLC, he added, would be “in good hands with Jonathan Gold­stein and there are a num­ber of other char­i­ties I wish to con­cen­trate on”.

In the mean­time, four JLC mem­bers will con­test two va­can­cies on its trustee board: the joint chair­man of Jewish Women’s Aid, Hilda Worth; chair­man of Jewish Care, Steven Lewis; Mac­cabi GB rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Michael Ziff, and Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion chair­man, Paul Char­ney.

Critic: Si­mon Hochhauser

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.