LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Sam Grundwerg, an attorney originally from Florida, was named to run Israel’s consulate in Los Angeles.
Grundwerg joined the executive staff of the World Jewish Congress in 2010 and serves as director of the organization’s Israel branch. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced his appointment as consul general Thursday.
Grundwerg is married and a father of three children. The family lives in Efrat, a West Bank settlement south of Jerusalem.
Born in Miami Beach, Grundwerg received a bachelor’s degree from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and a law degree from the University of Miami Law School. He is fluent in both English and Hebrew.
He practiced law for several years in Florida, with a focus on finance. After making aliyah, he worked for several large corporations in Israel.
Grundwerg will succeed David Siegel, who assumed his post as consul general for Southern California and seven southwestern states in August 2011.
Israeli diplomatic posts abroad are usually staffed by career members of the foreign service, but exceptions are made for appointments of ambassadors and for consul generals in such key posts as New York and Los Angeles. The same is true in the U.S.
Just last month, Netanyahu, who also serves as Israel’s foreign minister, appointed Dani Dayan as consul general in New York after the Brazilian government rejected his proposed assignment as ambassador to the South American nation citing his leadership of the West Bank settlers movement.