Longtime Activist Poised to Head Jewish Agency Board

Charles “Corky” Goodman is poised to become the new man at the helm of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

After receiving the nod Tuesday from the advice and consent committee of the World Zionist Organization, Goodman is awaiting the approval of the full Board of Governors, which is scheduled to convene in Jerusalem at the end of this month.

Goodman, an industrialist and banker from Chicago, will replace Mendel Kaplan, who served as chairman for the past eight years. The chairman is elected for a period of four years to head the Board of Governors, which manages and oversees all Jewish Agency operations and activities.

The approval of Goodman by the advice and consent committee ran into some last- minute difficulties.

Although Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin consented to Goodman’s sole candidacy, Labor members of the committee still demanded that two candidates be put forth instead of only one.

Avraham Burg, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency and WZO, strongly opposed this demand.

Burg, a Labor member of Knesset, announced at the opening of the June 11 meeting that “no political or other forum will decide in this process except those authorized to do so by the national institutions, namely the advice and consent committee.”

At the end of this meeting, the committee decide to interview the sole candidate — Goodman, who was approved two day later.

Following the decision to have a single candidate, Yehiel Leket, former acting chairman of the Jewish Agency and currently the head of Youth Aliyah, resigned from the committee.

Leket, who at the beginning of this year, ran against burg for the chairmanship of the Jewish Agency and WZO, dropped out of the contest when he was not approved by the Jewish Agency’s advice and consent committee.

Goodman, 62, has long been active in Jewish and local community life. He has served as an executive member of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee since 1990, and has been an active member of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors since 1989.

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