Solar power promoter Yosef Abramowitz joins Israeli presidential race

JERUSALEM (JTA) — American-born solar energy entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz is running for president of Israel.

Abramowitz, 50, the CEO of Energiya Global Capital, a Jerusalem-based solar developer, announced his candidacy in a column published Thursday in the Jerusalem Post.

“President Shimon Peres has done great things. To continue this momentum, Israel must field a President who embodies innovation and the ‘Start-Up Nation,’ a president who will foster hope and a bright future for the younger generations who are desperately seeking social and economic stability,” Abramowitz said in a statement. “I would lead government development to promote an investment-friendly climate.  I would strive to improve Israel’s standing in the global arena and embrace the strengthening of pluralism among all Israelis.”

Abramowitz is credited with co-founding the Israeli solar industry. He made aliyah in 2006.

Other candidates include Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Silvan Shalom of the Likud party; Binyamin Ben-Eliezer of the Labor party; Nobel Prize laureate Dan Shechtman; Meir Sheetrit of Hatnua; and former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner.

A candidate must have 10 nominations from Knesset members to run for the position. The president is elected in a secret ballot by the Knesset and must have an absolute majority of the votes.

Abramowitz is married to Rabbi Susan Silverman, an activist for religious pluralism and sister of comedian Sarah Silverman.

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