JERUSALEM (JTA) – Ze’ev Bielski is running for a seat in the Israeli Knesset with the Kadima Party.
The chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, following much speculation on a possible run for office, informed the agency’s Board of Governors that he would be taking a leave of absence to compete. Bielski made the announcement at the opening plenary of the board’s two days of meetings that started Wednesday.
Richard Pearlstone, the agency’s board chairman, told JTA that the leave will last three weeks until the Kadima primary in December. The board then must decide on how it will proceed in finding a replacement for Bielski, if necessary.
“It happens that my wife, who was always against politics, even she is in favor,” Bielski said. “She said, ‘If you can do it.’ So with mixed feelings, I think I am going to try it.”
Speculation persists that the head of the United Jewish Communities’ office in Israel, Nachman Shai, will make a similar announcement shortly after the Jewish federation system’s annual conference, the General Assembly, ends Wednesday.