Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Secret of Success

Speaking of Joel, and chatting about the OU, reminds me of an old theory of mine; namely, that Joel owes the presidency position to none other than Baruch Lanner. Joel for quite a while was seen, I think, as a Jewish leader who happened to be Orthodox, nothing more. After all, the organization he headed wasn't Orthodox, so while he was there in people's consciousnesses, I don't think people ever really thought of him as, say, a possible successor to Norman Lamm.

Which perhaps was why he was chosen to head the commission of inquiry at NCSY. After all, he wasn't an "inside" type possibly tainted by any associations. And that, in turn- I think- led people to start associating him with Orthodoxy as a movement, not just his personal faith. So when the time came for a new YU president, his name came up, and he eventually got the job.

This isn't, of course, to take anything away from Joel- I think he's doing an excellent job. It's just one of those little ironies of history.


Liz said...

This - to me, sounds like pure coincidence (oh yes, there's no such thing as coincidence; blah, blah). Truth be told, Joel was a highly successful leader of the previous organization he worked for (a.k.a Hillel). He was praised for his worthwhile work there, was lauded by the young folk and happens to be brilliant. (Oh yes, did I mention rich too?) So point in fact, its hard to think that he's involvement with the Lanner issue was the main reason he was nominated president of YU.

Nachum said...

Oh, I agree. He certainly had a lot going for him. Fundraising, which he did so well, is a major part of a YU president's job, and it helped he worked in a college environment, among other points. Moreover, he exemplifies the type of Jew YU is out to create. I just think the Lanner affair may have played at least a subconscious role.

Anonymous said...

Brother Bob:
But in defense of Lamm's arguement, Richard Joel would not have had the street cred of cleaning up shop without the OU stint, which is what YU was really looking for (and someone who could take on Socol & company).