Jewish Agency Roiled by Top Official's Resignation

The sudden departure this month of the Jewish Agency’s veteran chief financial officer, Yaron Neudorfer, is sending shock waves through the cash-strapped organization as it grapples with a severe budget deficit.

Neudorfer, who announced his resignation last month, is set to leave the Jewish Agency next week. The speedy manner of his departure, the fact that no new CFO has been appointed, and the febrile atmosphere within the agency - the largest international Jewish organization coordinating global aliyah and Jewish education from Israel - has spawned a slew of theories about the circumstances leading up to his resignation, and whether it was forced upon him.

In his term as CFO, Neudorfer oversaw continuous rounds of cuts, layoffs and restructuring. Each was part of a never-ending attempt to overcome a slump in fundraising and the global depression.

“He survived so long due to his political abilities,” says a former senior agency official. “He built a strong alliance with Saul Silver, the powerful former chairman of the agency’s finance and budget committee. Many in the organization believed that the free rein he was given by Silver allowed him to make financial decisions over the head of then director-general Moshe Vigdor. When Vigdor was replaced a year and a half ago by Alan Hoffmann, a showdown was inevitable.”

Misha Galperin, another new appointee at the agency who was hired in mid-2010 as the chief fundraiser, also apparently had a stormy relationship with Neudorfer.

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Jewish Agency Roiled by Top Official's Resignation

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