Former Orthodox Union President Harvey Blitz.
Former Orthodox Union President Harvey Blitz. Photo by JTA Photo Service
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The Orthodox Union has set a date to pick its next president in highly unusual contested elections.

The umbrella group of Modern Orthodox synagogues and organizations, perhaps best known for running the largest kosher certification operation in the world, announced this week that its board will convene at the Sheraton Hotel in New York on March 10 to choose between incumbent Simcha Katz and former president Harvey Blitz.

A source told JTA that a meeting held between Katz and Blitz aimed at settling their differences ended inconclusively on January 15.

Insiders say the organization has been gripped by a power struggle resulting in a recent succession of managerial changes. "The OU is much more than kosher: it is teens, campus life, the disabled, public affairs, synagogue and community services and much more," said Mayer Fertig, a spokesperson for the group.