Ujc Nominates Candidates for Group’s Top Lay Positions by Rachel Pomerance

Robert Goldberg, an Ohio bank president, is poised to become the next chairman of the board of the American Jewish federation system.

The nominating committee of the United Jewish Communities, the federation umbrella group, tapped Goldberg on Thursday to succeed James Tisch as the top federation lay leader, according to UJC officials.

The nominating committee’s recommendation will be considered for approval by UJC’s board of trustees in June, with the new chairman taking office in November.

Goldberg currently holds the No. 2 federation lay position, chairman of the executive committee.

The nominating committee on Thursday selected Morton Plant of Baltimore — currently UJC’s treasurer — to replace Goldberg as chairman of the executive committee.

The selections for new leadership come as many in the federation system are pushing for reform of the four-year-old UJC.

Several member federations have criticized the services they receive and the cost of the system.

In an apparent response to those concerns, UJC’s budget committee last month recommended trimming the group’s annual budget nearly 10 percent from $42.5 million to $38.3 million.

The budget also is expected to be voted on at the June 8-9 board meetings in Washington.

Goldberg, president of Ohio Savings Bank, is from Cleveland, the same hometown as UJC’s CEO, Stephen Hoffman.

Goldberg, a member of the board of directors of JTA, has held several other high-level positions in the federation system. He has served as chairman of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland and has chaired the assets and liabilities committee of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

In February, Goldberg lost a vote to chair the Jewish Agency’s board of governors to Carole Solomon, a fund raiser for the Jewish Agency.

In that contest, Goldberg had the support of many federation leaders, who saw it as an opportunity to better govern the Jewish Agency, a UJC beneficiary that handles immigration and absorption in Israel.

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