The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has today announced that Michael Gencher has been appointed as the Board’s Acting CEO.
In a statement, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, president, David Ossip, congratulated Michael on his appointment, saying Gencher has “impressed stakeholders both within and outside of the Jewish community with his leadership, integrity and ability to build relationships,” during his time at the Board.
“The Board is fortunate that Michael, who has intimate knowledge of the Board and a deep passion for our community, will lead the organisation during this interim period. I wish Michael much success and look forward to working even more closely with him in his new capacity,” he continued.
Michael has served as the Board’s Head of Community for the past two years. During this time, Michael has successfully led the Board’s engagement with other multicultural and faith communities and overseen the Board’s flagship We Are All Sydney program. Michael has also brought extensive public affairs experience to his role at the Board.
Gencher said he is honoured to be able to serve the NSW Jewish community.
“The next few months are a critical time for the Board as we seek to progress commitments which were made during the election campaign and re-introduce a number of programs which have not been run by the Board since COVID. I am excited by the challenge of this new role and look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the interests of the NSW Jewish community,” he said.
Today’s announcement followed Darren Bark’s resignation yesterday.
NSW JBD president David Ossip noted that during Bark’s tenure as CEO he, “successfully advocated for landmark legislation banning Nazi symbols in NSW, secured funding commitments for communal organisations and served as an inaugural member of the NSW Religious Communities Advisory Council.”
The statement by the Board added that Bark, “also navigated significant complexity during the COVID pandemic and facilitated shofar blowing during the high holy days whilst the community was still in lockdown.”
Ossip thanked Bark, “for his service to the Board and the NSW Jewish community and wished him well for the future.”
Bark said, “It has been a privilege representing the Jewish community and I thank everyone who I have had the pleasure of working with over the past two years. I wish the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies every success in the future.”
Last week, it was revealed that Bark had been ‘put on unexpected leave’, with ‘major upheaval’ underway at the state roof body, but no reasons were offered for Bark’s resignation in the statement.
A communal leader, who spoke to The AJN on the condition of anonymity, questioned the secrecy around the issue, saying, “The community deserves to know what is going on.”
“Why aren’t things open and transparent at the board? Why don’t we know what’s actually going on?”
Bark commenced in the role in May 2021 after being headhunted for the job. He increased cooperation between faith communities in NSW and was instrumental in the formation of the Religious Communities Advisory Council during the term of the Perrottet government, which strengthened ties between faith groups and the state government.