LEADERS Two Presidents for the Jewish Community of Milan

milanBy Daniel Reichel

The Jewish Community of Milan will have two presidents: Raffaele Besso and Milo Hasbani. The Community council opted for this unprecedented solution of a two-headed presidency to govern the Community at its first meeting last week. The decision was a result of the final voting that ended in a tie. Eight members were elected for each of the two main lists (WellCommunity and Lechaim). And finally the independent candidate, Antonella Musatti was appointed vice-president.

This solution is meant to be a sign of coexistence and collaboration between the two trends in the Community which are represented by WellCommunity and Lechaim. “It was the only way to overcome divisions,” said Hasbani, leader of the Lechaim List. “I am confident for the future and I think we will succeed in working together,” added Besso, leader of WellCommunity List, who also stressed the role of Ms. Musatti as guarantor between the two groups (she will be the Board coordinator and the councilor for nursing home care).

The two presidents will share the legal representation of the Community and for example will both sign all the legal acts connected to the Keillah. This vision of sharing responsibilities is also reflected in the way the roles inside the Council were assigned, dividing them between the two lists.

“All the councilors have begun working and Mr. Besso and I have already agreed on our first steps. We hope to do a good job,” said Hasbani, who recalled the necessity to find an agreement after long negotiations was strongly advocated by the chief rabbi of Milan rav Alfonso Arbib as well as the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Gattegna.

The Jewish Community of Milan is facing a difficult situation economically. Last year, the Community was shocked to discover a huge deficit most likely the misdeed of an employee. This case is pending criminal investigation.