The UJC/Jewish Federations of North America has named ex-Russian oligarch Leonid Nevzlin, who now lives in Israel, as the international chair of its annual General Assembly, which will be held in Washington, D.C., in November.
Nevzlin is becoming more involved in the federation system and its overseas activities apparently. In June, just before the executive meetings of the Jewish Agency for Israel, he spoke out about the need to strengthen the Jewish Agency.
LEONID NEVZLIN TO SERVE AS INTERNATIONAL CHAIR OF GA
July 9, 2009
UJC/Jewish Federations of North America is proud to announce that Leonid Nevzlin, a leading businessman and outstanding Jewish philanthropist, will serve as international chair of the 2009 General Assembly.
Mr. Nevzlin’s remarkable philanthropic work extends from his native Russia to the State of Israel, where he made aliyah in 2003.
"I strongly believe that Jewish Peoplehood is the key to ensure that Jews wherever they choose to live will remain one people in the future," said Nevzlin. "UJC represents the strongest partnership of the Jewish people committed to our common future. I am pleased to be a part of the GA, the federation system’s signature event."
In Russia, Mr. Nevzlin established the Moscow Jewish Cultural Center and the International Center for Russian and East European Jewish Studies. He also worked to develop numerous Jewish educational programs in partnership with ORT, the Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC and the Holocaust Fund.
In Israel, Mr. Nevzlin established the NADAV Fund to support initiatives that strengthen Jewish peoplehood, build substantive and pluralistic Jewish identity, and create lasting connections among Jews the world over.
His first project in Israel was the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which was later networked to similar centers in Moscow, Vilnius and Kiev.
Mr. Nevzlin is also a major supporter of Masa Israel Journey, a project of UJC/Federations and the Jewish Agency, as well as Birthright Mifgashim and Taglit Yahad projects, which facilitate meetings between Birthright participants from different parts of the world and their Israeli peers.
In 2004, Mr. Nevzlin joined with the Government of Israel in creating a rescue package to help preserve Beth Hatefutsoth, the Diaspora Museum, in Tel Aviv. He chairs its International Board of Governors. In collaboration with prominent figures in Israeli society and Jewish communities from around the world, Nevzlin is working to make Beth Hatefutsoth a vibrant world class museum dedicated to telling the unique and ongoing story of the Jewish People.
Mr. Nevzlin also serves on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Board of Trustees of Keren Hayesod – the United Israel Appeal.
"With his international stature, his breadth of experience and his ongoing efforts to strengthen the world Jewish community, Leonid Nevzlin is ideally suited to serve as international chair of the GA. We are grateful and proud that he has agreed to take on this important role," said Dede Feinberg, who with her husband Ken is co-haring the GA.
Among the high-ranking posts he has held in the private sector, Mr. Nevzlin was first deputy chair of Bank MENATEP, first deputy chair of YUKOS Oil; and deputy director of the news agency, ITAR TASS, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; and Rector of the Russian State University for Humanities.