Isaac Herzog to head Jewish Agency despite Netanyahu’s opposition

Labor Party MK Isaac Herzog was elected to head the Jewish Agency despite the prime minister’s opposition. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Labor Member of Knesset and Opposition leader Isaac Herzog was elected head of the Jewish Agency, replacing Natan Sharansky.

“The leadership nominating committee of The Jewish Agency for Israel will recommend on Sunday to the Jewish Agency Board of Governors the election of Member of Knesset Isaac Herzog as the next Chairman of the Executive, for a term of four years,” the statement said.

Netanyahu opposed the appointment of Herzog, the Knesset opposition leader. The prime minister attempted to push the election of his political ally, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.

The Jewish Agency’s search committee, headed by Jewish Agency Board of Governors chairman Michael Siegal, chose Herzog.

Only one of the Jewish Agency’s search committee members did not vote in favor of Herzog to replace Sharansky, who is leaving office next month after nine years as the agency’s chairman.

Netanyahu canceled a meeting with Diaspora Jewish leaders and the heads of the Jewish Agency next week, apparently as an expression of Netanyahu’s dissatisfaction with the Agency’s decision.

Isaac “Bougie” Herzog is the son of Chaim Herzog, who served two terms as the sixth president of Israel from 1983 to 1993, and Aura Ambache, founder of the Council for a Beautiful Israel.

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His paternal grandfather, Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, was the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland from 1922 to 1935 and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1936 to 1959.

Herzog was born in Tel Aviv. When his father served as Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations for three years, Herzog lived in New York and attended the modern Orthodox Ramaz School.

In the following years, he gained an advanced academic education at Cornell University and New York University.

Herzog has been a Knesset member since 2003 and has served in a number of ministerial positions.