JLC staffer defends Board candidacy
AN EMPLOYEE of the Jewish Leadership Council has defended her decision to stand for an executive seat on the Board of Deputies, rejecting suggestions it would create a conflict of interest.
Judith Flacks — who works as head of campaigns for the JLC and represents Jewish Women’s Aid on the Board — unsuccessfully contested the election for vice-chair of the Board’s defence division.
Robert Festenstein, a deputy for Prestwich Hebrew Congregration, challenged Ms Flacks over the possibility of conflict, arguing the Board and JLC were “in part at least… competitors”.
But Ms Flacks told defence committee members that the president of the Board, Marie van der Zyl, was herself a JLC trustee. “It is not a conflict of interest for her as president of the Board and this is not a conflict for me either.”
In the event, the post was won by Gary Mond, deputy for JNF UK.
Seats on the executive were also secured by Richard Benson — the Community Security Trust’s representative on the Board and vice-chairman of defence in the last Board triennial — who was elected vice-chairman of the community and education division; and by Ido Ben-Shaul, a deputy for West London Synagogue, as vice-chairman of international relations.
The Board’s four divisions are headed by its three vice-presidents and treasurer. Elections for vice-chairman of finance and organisation will take place next month.
Talks to unify the Board and the JLC were launched five years ago but no agreement resulted. Earlier this year, the outgoing Board president, Jonathan Arkush, suggested the time was ripe to revive them.
It is not a conflict for me [to stand for Board executive]’