MK Elazar Stern Gathers Support to Be Next Jewish Agency Head

MK Elazar Stern. Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Yesh Atid MK and former IDF general Elazar Stern has gathered the support of Yesh Atid and Yamina to become the government’s candidate for head of the Jewish Agency.

Stern would be nominated to replace Yitzchak Herzog, who was voted to replace Reuven Rivlin as Israel’s President. Herzog will formally enter the role on July 9.

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett agreed to jointly nominate Stern and to lobby for him as part of the coalition negotiations.

Stern, an Orthodox former general, joined Yesh Atid in 2015.

The head of the Jewish Agency, the largest Jewish charity organization in the world, typically is the candidate that has been nominated by Israel’s prime minister.

The only time the prime minister’ pick has been rejected was in 2018, when Herzog was appointed chairman over Binyamin Netanyahu’s choice of Likud MK Yuval Steinitz. Herzog replaced Natan Sharansky, who had led the agency since 2009.

After the prime minister puts his pick forward, the candidate is voted on by the agency’s nominating committee and then by its board of governors.

The nomination committee is lead by World Zionist Organization chairman Yaakov Hagoel.

Other potential nominees include Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich, former Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, and former New York Consul General Dani Dayan.


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