S.F. federation CEO to head New Israel Fund

NEW YORK (JTA) – The New Israel Fund has tapped San Francisco federation CEO Daniel Sokatch as its new leader.

Sokatch, who was hired in the spring of 2008 to head the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, said in a letter to federation beneficiaries that the position as chief executive officer at the New Israel Fund was too good to turn down. The fund gives out about $30 million per year, primarily to progressive causes in Israel.

“This was not an easy decision for me, as I am genuinely sad to be leaving the Federation and its rich history of 100 years of tikkun olam and tzedakah," Sokatch wrote, "but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead a global organization at a particularly critical time for Israel.”

NIF President Naomi Chazan in a news release said her organization "was incredibly thrilled by this development."

“Daniel is an experienced professional, passionate about our causes, committed to our values and has a long connection with NIF," she said. "He has a proven track record as a visionary, fundraiser and manager, and has a deep love for and understanding of Israel and its current challenges."

Sokatch was the founding director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance when he was hired by the San Francisco federation with much fanfare. Many observers had viewed him as a potential leader of a new wave of federation executive.

Jennifer Gorovitz, the federation’s chief of staff, will become its acting CEO, according to an e-mail sent by the federation’s president, Jim Koshland. 

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