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Hadassah picks ex-treasurer for top post

NEW YORK (JTA) — The national board of Hadassah: The Women’s Zionist Organization of America has nominated its former treasurer to take over the organization’s top lay leadership position.

The board on Sunday officially selected Marcie Natan, currently the national chairperson of Hadassah College in Jerusalem, to become the organization’s president in July. Natan, of Lancaster, Pa., must be approved officially at Hadassah’s annual meeting. She would succeed Nancy Falchuk, who has served as president since 2007.

The organization’s top lay position, the Hadassah president serves as essentially a volunteer CEO, wielding an unusual amount of responsibility for a lay leader at a nonprofit.

Falchuk guided Hadassah through tumultuous waters over the past several years. In 2009, she navigated Hadassah through a PR nightmare when it became public that the organization had invested tens of millions of dollars with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff while its former CFO, Sheryl Weinstein, claimed to have had a long-running affair with him.

In 2010, Falchuk helped avert potential disaster at the Hadassah Medical Center, which the organization founded and supports, as the staff threatened to strike over the potential ouster of its director general, Shlomo Mor Yosef.

And late last year, Falchuk helped the organization avoid a potential clawback lawsuit when the organization reached an agreement with the trustee of Madoff’s estate, Irving Picard, to repay $45 million of the money the organization innocently made in Madoff’s scam.

Falchuk will work with Natan over the next several months during a transitional period, according to a statement sent out by Hadassah.

“I am blessed to have this opportunity to express my Zionism in such a meaningful way,” Natan said in the statement about her nomination.

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