Vivian Wineman will head the JLC

The Jewish Leadership Council has ended speculation over its top job by confirming that new Board of Deputies’ president Vivian Wineman has taken over as its chair.

Since its inception six years ago, the council has been led by its founding chairman Henry Grunwald, who retired from the presidency of the Board last month after a maximum six consecutive years in office.

But there had been discussions within the council over whether he should be automatically followed by his successor at the Board. Some had been against the idea, according to one JLC member who attended a meeting in April, a month before the Board elections.

In May, Mr Wineman clinched the presidency ahead of former United Synagogue president Peter Sheldon, Jerry Lewis and Flo Kaufmann.

Earlier this week, executive members of the JLC had been reluctant to reveal details of its chairmanship. But on Wednesday a spokesman said: “On taking office as president of the Board of Deputies on June 1, Vivian Wineman also became chairperson of the Jewish Leadership Council. Our first meeting under his chairmanship will take place on July 1.”

According to the council’s constitution, the Board president will “from time to time” be its chairman unless otherwise agreed, leaving open the possibility of an alternative head.

The 25-member council comprises the leaders of 16 community organisations, plus prominent Jewish individuals.

Baroness Deech, a non-executive JLC member, said it was better for the Board and the council to be “led by the same person. We want one strong unified voice of the Jewish community.”

Last updated: 7:08pm, June 18 2009