JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s opposition leader has been appointed chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a non-governmental organization responsible for bridging Israel and Jewish communities worldwide.
The organization issued a statement Sunday that its board of governors unanimously elected Isaac Herzog, a former Labor Party leader, as its new chairman.
Herzog was selected over Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His appointment is seen as a defeat for Netanyahu, but Herzog vowed to work closely with his political rival.
Herzog, who starts Aug. 1, succeeds outgoing chairman, former Soviet political prisoner Natan Sharansky.
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The Jewish Agency is a non-governmental umbrella organization that works closely with the Israeli government to encouraging Jewish immigration and developing ties with Diaspora communities. It had a $362 million budget in 2018.