In one fascinating case there is Mark Paredes hired by The Los Angeles office of the Zionist Organization of America as an executive director. The duties of the office include promoting the State of Israel and fighting anti-Semitism. In the Q & A, Paredes explained:
Jewish Journal: At least two people have held your position since late 2006. What will be your formula for turning ZOA around?
Mark Paredes: I plan to bring together Jews, both religious and secular, who are proud to be Zionists, who are willing to defend Israel and the Jewish people, who want Israel to negotiate peace only with partners who have already renounced terror and incitement and recognize Israel, and who believe that Jews have the right to live in the Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria. Belief in these principles transcends movements and the religious-secular divide, and it’s my job to organize events that will inspire our supporters and attract other defenders of Israel to the ZOA banner.
He doesn't leave any details as to how he is going to accomplish his goals, saying only he has "many weeks and months of hard work." It shouldn't take long to see if he is more successful than his predecessors. Recent leaders lasted only a few months. There is no available information in the article to determine why the others lasted such a short time. It is interesting that as a Mormon he was picked at all, although not extraordinary.
The second leadership position of interest is in Utah. Rev. Monsignor Terrence Fitzgerald, a friend of LDS Pres. Monson, has hired Mormon Brad Drake as executive director of Utah's Catholic Community Services. As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune:
"Our mission is not to proselytize or to make people Catholic, but to serve all those in need in any way we can," Fitzgerald said.
In addition to a good grasp of its mission, Drake brought something else to CCS: a lifetime of business experience capped by service in the nonprofit world.
He has "the ability and skills to manage a complex agency in difficult times," Fitzgerald said.
Why Mormons are getting picked in organizations controlled by other religions or if this is really a trend is hard to say. What this holds for future relationships is just as much a mystery. That this is happening during a time when Mormons are less liked than since the start of the 20th Century is heartening. At the least it represents discussions of "how wide the divide" should be scrapped for real working together.