German Jewish leader plans to not run for second term

February 3, 2010 17:00

Berlin - Charlotte Knobloch, the 77-year-old head of Germany's Central Council of Jews, will not pursue a second four-year term as head of Germany's 120,000 registered members, according to media reports on Wednesday.  Central Council insiders told The Jerusalem Post last year that Knobloch will be a one-term president. Dieter Graumann, the Israeli-born vice president of the council, said, however, that he is not aware of Knobloch's decision to retire.

A number of German Jews have expressed disaffection with Knobloch's leadership style. Critics charge her with being aloof and focusing on tangential issues. In 2009, she threatened to boycott a Holocaust remembrance event in the German Parliament because she was not seated in the first row and formally welcomed in the speech of Parliament's president.  She took over the reins of the central council in 2006 after the death of Paul Spiegel.

As with all of her predecessors in the position, Knobloch experienced  the Shoah first-hand. Knobloch lives in Munich and oversees the Jewish community in the Bavarian capital. She played a decisive role in rebuilding a semblance of Jewish life in Munich and was instrumental in integrating former Russian Jews into the community. It is presumed that the next president of the Central Council will be a non-survivor.

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