Yesterday late evening the Presidium of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC) elected Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantor, the Chairman of the Coordinating Board of JSC Acron, a new President of this public organization. Until the approval at the next congress, he will be formally called acting President . At an extraordinary meeting, convened earlier, the RJC bureau recommended to urgently replace his predecessor, senator representing Chuvashia Vladimir Slutsker for the reason of “the RJC’s inactivity last year”. However, Mr. Slutsker managed to obtain the position of the Chairman of the RJC Board of Directors.
Many of the RJC Presidium members told the Kommersant correspondent on the eve of elections that the Presidium would approve the candidacy of the Chairman of the Coordinating Board of JSC Acron, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Jewish Congress Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantor“with 98% probability”. The reason is not only that Mr. Kantorwas considered by the RJC leaders the most appropriate candidate to this position, but also complete disappointment with Mr. Vladimir Slutsker’s work. “Slutsker as the RJC President was a poor show, he was busy with other matters all the time. It seemed that he had come to disorganize the RJC”, – one of the RJC Presidium members who wished to remain anonymous shared his impressions with the Kommersant. “Vladimir Slutsker convened the Presidium only once in almost a year’s term, – the RJC Presidium member Evgeny Satanovsky confirmed. – The RJC must not be considered a supplement to the activity of the Federation Council member”.
Mr. Vladimir Slutsker’s deposition was discussed at urgent extraordinary meeting of the RJC bureau on October 6 this year. As the Kommersant found out, the RJC bureau was convened then on the initiative of one of its most influential members, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC Alfa-Bank Mr. Mikhail Friedman, who is called “a shadow leader of the RJC”. However, according to the Charter of the organization, the bureau can only recommend, the Presidium can elect, and only the congress of this organization can approve the President.
In October, shortly after the bureau meeting, Mr. Vladimir Slutsker, who did not lose his optimism, told the Kommersant, “The decision will be adopted only in a month, so we will see what the decision will be”. “Vladimir Slutsker managed to persuade Mikhail Friedman to adopt a compromise decision, that is to elect him, Mr. Slutsker, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the RJC”, – an information source from among the RJC leaders, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Kommersant.
Yesterday’s meeting of the Presidium began with Mr. Slutsker’s voluntarily resignation from the post of the RJC President, having named Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantorashis successor. As it became known to the Kommersant, Mr. Kantor’s candidacyto the post of the President was nominated by the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the RJC, first deputy mayor of Moscow Mr. Vladimir Resin and was approved by Mr. Mikhail Friedman. As Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantortold the Kommersant, Mr. Resin addressed him for the first time with such a proposal about two years ago. “Then, I asked him to postpone this proposal, as I had just started to work in the European Jewish Congress, – Mr. Kantorsaid. – Now, being more experienced, I accepted the proposal to become a candidate to the post of the RJC leader made by Mr. Vladimir Resin and Mr. Mikhail Friedman”.
In the European Jewish Congress Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantoris responsible for “his congenial directions” – cultural and educational (Mr. Kantor has a collection of works of art of Russian Jewish artists) and he is the President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation. This year the Foundation initiated and carried out the events in commemoration of the 60 th anniversary of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau liberation in Krakow, in which many world leaders participated. Talking about international programmes, Mr. Kantor considers “forming positive attitude to Jewsin the minds of people of most importance”. As for the Russian programmes, he believes that the social issues are top-priority. “Russia needs orphanages and old people’s homes, public cafeterias, medical programmes, as well as kindergartens, Jewish schools and universities, together with Jewish theatres, newspapers, holidays,” – Mr. Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantortold the Kommersant. In this sense it seems that Mr. Kantor took into account the experience of his predecessor, who was reproached exactly for neglecting social and educational programmes.
However, as it was presumed, Mr. Slutsker is not leaving the RJC at all. The Presidium recommended appointing him the Chairman of the Board of Directors of this organization. Holding this post, Mr. Vladimir Slutsker will be responsible for “the dialogue between Judaists and Muslims” and “relations inside the Russian Jewish community”.
The Kommersant, No. 212