B’nai B’rith International has issued a statement saying that its top professional, Daniel Mariaschin, is not moving on to the World Jewish Congress.
Speculation had surfaced in recent weeks that Mariaschin was the front-runner to replace Stephen Herbits as the top professional at the embattled WJC, and several news agencies reported that Mariaschin’s hiring was all but final. As previously reported by JTA, a source familiar with the situation said that Mariaschin informed WJC President Ronald Lauder of his plans on Tuesday, after the two men had already worked out an agreement and Lauder had presented it to the WJC’s steering committee.
Lauder, who was elected WJC president in May, sent a July 30 letter to members of the WJC’s steering committee outlining the terms of Mariaschin’s prospective deal. The letter stated that Mariaschin would have been named executive director of the WJC until the organization’s governing board elected him acting secretary-general at its meeting in January. Under the terms, Mariaschin would have been paid $400,000 a year with annual raises of 5 percent, a potential performance-based bonus and four weeks of vacation. Mariaschin made $242,000 in 2005, according to B’nai B’rith’s latest tax filing.
Lauder did not return a call seeking comment.
According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, some WJC officers were upset that Lauder had settled on Mariaschin without involving the steering committee. A “vocal minority” within the steering committee wants to set up a search committee, one source said. Another source suggested that word of Mariaschin rejecting Lauder’s deal may have been spread to kill it.