Amid internal tensions, Conference of Presidents to vote on ex-HIAS head

The letter called HIAS's work with other groups "inimical" to the COP's mission

HIAS SUPPORTERS take part in a pro-immigration rally in Washington last year. (photo credit: TED EYTAN)
HIAS SUPPORTERS take part in a pro-immigration rally in Washington last year.
(photo credit: TED EYTAN)
WASHINGTON – Despite a call from ZOA and other organizations, the Conference of Presidents is moving forward as usual with its plan to hold a vote on Tuesday on the nomination of Dianne Lob to become the next chair, a source involved in the Conference of Presidents election told The Jerusalem Post.
According to the source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters, Lob is expected to have a majority in a vote that will take place via Zoom. “She will be elected, and not HIAS,” the source said, as a response to the criticism about Lob’s past position as chair of the board of HIAS between 2016 and 2019. “Her views on US-Israel relationship, on foreign policy, are centrist, AIPAC-like,” he added.
“The issues that ZOA brings up are almost entirely about HIAS. If anything, these attacks help to bring people to support her nomination,” the source added. “The vast majority of the organizations are lining up behind her.”
Mort Klein, president of ZOA, released a letter on Monday, demanding to withdraw Lob’s nomination. “HIAS is not the proper organization from which the top leader of the American Jewish community should be chosen,” he wrote in his letter. “We are also deeply concerned that Ms. Lob holds the same troubling views as the organization that she led. Especially at this time with the current administration in the White House.”
“HIAS is, by its own definition, not a Jewish organization, having officially dropped, in 2014, the word ‘Hebrew’ from its name as being ‘exclusionary,’” he continued. “The vast majority of the material on HIAS’s website does not promote Jews or Israel. HIAS likely does not even qualify for COP membership.”
“Chairmanship of the Conference is viewed by many as the highest honor in the American Jewish community,” Klein wrote. “This honor should not be bestowed on a person – however competent and accomplished she has been in her own unrelated finance career – who lacks experience in the larger organized Jewish community and remains closely associated with an organization that promotes policies that conflict with the Conference’s mission to fight for Jews and Israel.”
Other prominent figures in the American right voiced a similar sentiment. Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, tweeted: “without dispute, Donald Trump is best US President ever as an ally to the Prime Minister of Israel. So why would Conference of Presidents of Jewish Groups nominate anti-Trump Dianne Lob formerly of HIAS (ties to radical groups) to lead them? Makes NO sense! Hope they reconsider-for their own sake!”
Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, tweeted: “as Netanyahu and Gantz pull together for Israel’s sake, the US Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations is poised to make an anti-Zionist, pro-Sharia-supremacist, Dianne Lob, its next Chair. Just say No!”
Following the criticism from ZOA, other members of the Conference of Presidents expressed support of Lob. “I’ll be at the meeting to vote for Dianne as the new chairwoman of CoP because she is thoughtful, inclusive, and strategic,” Sheila Katz, CEO of National Council of Jewish Women, tweeted. “Dianne and William Daroff will make a great team,” she added.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti Defamation League, praised Lob and tweeted: “An excellent choice from William Daroff and the team. Looking forward to working together.”
Lob released a statement earlier this week, saying that her previous involvement with HIAS developed from her personal history as the child of refugees from Nazi Germany and the grandchild of family members murdered in the Holocaust. “Today, my support for a strong and vibrant Israel is rooted in my belief that the safety and security of Israel is critical to Jews in the United States and across the world,” Lob wrote.
“I firmly believe that a secure Israel is necessary for our community to thrive, and I will do everything in my power to assure that strength is maintained and enhanced,” she continued. “The Conference must continue its historical commitment to support the democratically elected government of Israel and to strengthen the ties between Israel and the United States as well as with the American Jewish community.”
“The delegitimization of Israel continues to be a threat we must counter, as is the reprehensible BDS Movement, which we must continue to strongly oppose,” Lob added.
According to a statement of CoP, Lob is currently Head of Global Business Development for AllianceBernstein (AB), “a leading global investment management firm, where she focuses on the global sales strategy for AB’s broad equity, fixed income and multi-asset services.”