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Iraqi-born Woman Named Executive Director of Azf

Carmella Somekh Carr, a 34-year-old native of Iraq, was named executive director of the American Zionist Federation, it was announced by Mrs. Faye Schenk, AZF president. She is the first woman to fill that post.

“The AZF,” said Mrs. Schenk, “selected Ms. Carr on the basis of her intimate familiarity with the Jewish and Zionist pictures in both Israel and the U.S. and her proven ability to communicate successfully with all parties. We are especially pleased,” she continued, “that our new director is a woman, since there are few major Jewish organizations with female directors and most of these are women’s organizations.”

Ms. Carr, who is fluent in Hebrew and Arabic, is a PhD candidate in Near Eastern Studies at New York University and had previously taught at NYU. She recalled that her “interest in Zionism started with my childhood experiences in Iraq where anti-Semitism is a way of life. My father was imprisoned for five years as a result of his efforts to help Jews emigrate.”