Jewish Agency names first woman CEO


(JTA) — The Jewish Agency for Israel appointed its first woman CEO.

Amira Aharonovich, 47, replaces longtime Jewish Agency CEO Alan Hoffmann and will also be its director general, the organization wrote in a statement Friday.

The Jewish Agency handles key aspects of immigration by Jews to Israel for the state, and serves as a prime beneficiary of Diaspora donations to the Jewish state.

Aharonovich holds two degrees in business administration and has worked for the Jewish Agency in top management positions since she joined the organization after completing her military service at the age of 20.

Josh Schwarcz will serve as director of external relations, the statement also said. Schwarcz , will continue to serve as secretary general, which he has held since 2001.

“I am leading The Jewish Agency toward a period of significant change,” Isaac Herzog, the agency’s chairman, said in the statement. “I’m confident Amira will be an outstanding CEO,” he added, and that “Josh will draw on his tremendous experience to lead his new areas of responsibility, both in Israel and around the world.”

Herzog, a former leader of Israel’s Labor party, was selected in June by the Jewish Agency’s board as the successor of Natan Sharansky, who had served as chairman since 2009.

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