Lester Pollack, an investment banker and lawyer who is president of the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America, has been nominated to succeed Shoshana Cardin as chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
He will assume the post Jan. 1, if his nomination is approved by the nearly 60 organizations who are members of the conference at its annual meeting Dec. 2. Until now, no recommendation of the nominating committee has failed to be accepted.
Pollack was chosen Tuesday morning, as Americans were voting for president, by a committee representing six of the conference’s 52 member organizations.
Three other announced candidates for the post were Alfred Moses, president of the American Jewish Committee; Robert Lifton, president of the American Jewish Congress; and Maynard Wishner, chairman of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council.
Pollack, a general partner of Lazard Freres & Co., was previously president of the New York Jewish Community Relations Council. He is also chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Anti-Defamation League and a member of the executive committee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
He serves on the boards of, among others, the Council of Jewish Federations, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, UJA-Federation of New York, Paramount Communications Inc., Polaroid Corp. and Loews Corp.
The selection of Pollack caps months of speculation that Lifton, as someone who has publicly and financially supported both the Israeli Labor government and President-elect Bill Clinton, might get the nod to head the umbrella group representing American Jewry on matters of international policy.