JLC staffer de­fends Board can­di­dacy

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

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]’

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