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Frankel's Style At Met Council Rankled Some Agency Heads

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Collection of articles quoting and mentioning Ezra Friedlander on different political, community and current events.

Read full article on The Jewish Week's website.

"I have come to feel very deeply about Met Council ...” he wrote. “However, I also felt I have helped accomplish our primary goal, which was to put us on a path toward ensuring the future of Met Council".

As for his replacement, several sources have confirmed the report by the Forward newspaper that Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener, who heads the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, is under consideration for the post.

Those that know him describe Wiener as an "ideal choice" who can relate to all types.

"He's a brilliant administrator. He's well liked in the UJA circles, he's well liked by everyone," said one agency head.

"He's the ultimate professional, his integrity is beyond question [and] … ability to reach out to people of all backgrounds is well proven," said Ezra Friedlander, a consultant who works with Jewish nonprofits and political organizations.

However, several people who know Wiener well said they doubted he would actually take the job, with once source putting the chances at “less than 10 percent.”

"He's a shy, quiet guy who doesn't like to be in the limelight," one source said, noting that he was extremely invested in the JCCs he's run for 33 years. "It doesn't make sense that would leave something so fulfilling," he said.

As for criticism of Frankel, not one of the nearly dozen people who spoke to The Jewish Week on the subject said they thought it was a mistake to hire him following Rapfogel's fall.

"He was dealt a very difficult hand and he did a very nice job negotiating with the government," said one person who works closely with the agencies the organization serves.

But all also agreed that now that the ship was righted, it was time to hand the helm back to someone who had more experience with the work on the ground.

"I think that Frankel will be known as the person who stabilized the Met Council," said Friedlander. "The Met Council is now on firm footing and now you need someone like Rabbi Wiener, who has been with [a Met Council-affiliated] organization and who can take it to the next level."

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