According to the Web site of the United Jewish Communities, a nominating committee has tapped Kathy Manning to be the next chair of the umbrella organization of the North American Jewish federation system.
Manning, who has served as the chair of the UJC’s executive committee since 2006, would succeed Joe Kanfer and, according to the site, be the first woman to assume the post.
Her nomination comes along with two others for other positions.
The UJC Nominating Committee on Tuesday recommended Kathy Manning of Greensboro, N.C., to be the new chair of UJC; Michael Gelman of Washington, D.C., to be the new chair of the UJC Executive Committee; and Dr. Heschel Raskas of St. Louis to be the new treasurer of UJC.
Manning, who has served as chair of the executive committee since 2006, becomes the first woman selected to UJC’s top volunteer office since the organization’s creation from the merger of the United Jewish Appeal and the Council of Jewish Federations in 1999.
"We are so fortunate to have the experience, dedication and passion of these three extraordinary leaders who will guide UJC and our community into the future," said Susan Stern of New York, chair of the nominating committee.
Manning seems a solid choice. From conversations with her over the past couple of years she is a reformer who wants to see the federation system and the UJC evolve, and who has been integral in Kanfer’s push to move the behemoth system towards change.
Manning also is Kanfer’s personal choice to succeed him.
But there is a potential pitfall: Manning is from Greensboro, a small-market federation town. As much pushback as Kanfer has received over the past two years for his sometimes aggressive moves to overhaul the UJC and bring the country’s federations in line with the national organization, the CEO of GOJO Industries (which makes Purell hand sanitizer) has perhaps received more pushback from some corners of the federation world simply because he is from a small-market federation, Akron.
Some in the federation system have decried Kanfer because they feel that a system that gets most of its money from large federation markets such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Baltimore should have a lay leader from an area that has mega money.
We shall see if Manning, a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan Law School, runs into more of the same.
The nominations must be ratified at the UJC’s annual General Assembly, which will be held in Washington in November.
There is still no word on who will succeed the UJC’s top professional, Howard Rieger, when he steps down in August.
Manning is leading the search committee to find Rieger’s replacement.