Natan Sharansky was elected today to a second four-year term as chairman of the Jewish Agency in a unanimous vote by the organization’s Board of Governors. Deputy Chairman Rany Trainin was also reelected to a second term.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking on Monday to the Board of Governors in Jerusalem, urged its members to extend Sharansky’s appointment.
Sharansky, a former dissident, was incarcerated for nine years in the Soviet Union. After his release in 1986, he immigrated to Israel where he was reunited with his wife Avital. He served as a member of the Knesset for nine years and as industry and trade minister, interior minister, housing and construction minister, Jerusalem affairs minister and deputy prime minister. After leaving political life, he was elected chairman of the Jewish Agency in 2009.
In his role as chairman of the Jewish Agency, Sharansky has put greater emphasis on building bridges between Israel and Diaspora Jewry and less focus on what was traditionally the organization’s outstanding mission of promoting aliyah.
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