Sole nomination for next Jewish Leadership Council chair is Keith
Keith Black – who helped set-up the successful outdoor clothing retailer Regatta – is poised to replace Jonathan Goldstein as chair of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC).
Jewish News has learned that Black, 62, was the sole nomination for the top JLC role when the allotted time frame for nominations closed at the end of last month.
The South Manchester raised Regatta chairman and chief executive will be confirmed as new JLC chair at a meeting of the communal group’s Council on January 12th on the condition that 50 percent of members back his appointment.
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Out-going chair Goldstein announced he was standing down from the role last November saying regrettably it had become unsustainable for him to be able to continue whilst running an increasingly complex business and ensuring he has time for his family.
Sources close to the communal umbrella body say Black is viewed as a popular and sensible choice to continue the work of Goldstein at the helm of the JLC.
One JLC insider described Black, who now lives in north London with his wife Tanya and their five daughters, as a “great listener” and somebody who “fully understands the Jewish communal world.”
Black has previously enjoyed a 35 year long association with UJIA, leading the Manchester campaign and then joining the Trustees board.
More recently he has taken a lead role supporting We Believe in Israel in their work combating BDS. Black is also involved in active work with the Community Security Trust, and has represented the CST on the JLC Council of Membership.
He worked with the Union of Jewish Students and UJIA in developing the Digital Israel Project.
In his bid to become chair, sources say Black praised out-going chair Goldstein on his decisiveness in leading the fight against antisemitism within the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
He also spoke admiringly of Goldstein’s energy in raising funds for social care during the early days of Covid.
Black has also spoken of his pride at living in this country in relative safety as a Jew, while also retaining a connection to Israel.
He has said he wants to listen to younger people in the community who may not have as strong a connection to Israel and help improve this situation.
Black had helped to set up the Regatta business, which now employs 2000 people, in 1981 with his father, Lionel, who had begun selling army surplus jackets during the 1970s.
He has run the business alongside his sister with the global firm’s success put down to stocking practical and affordable coats, footwear and other clothing designed for middle-class dog walkers and families.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List in 2020, Black and his family had a net worth of around £220 million.