Jewish Agency CEO Alan Hoffmann to step down by end of year

“These have been exciting and very meaningful years for me [Hoffmann]. I have seen the agency adapt itself to some of the more important changes which have shaped the fact of Jewish life and Israel."

March 26, 2018 12:17
2 minute read.
Alan Hoffmann.

Alan Hoffmann triannual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency 2014.. (photo credit: SAM SOKOL)


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Hoffmann has announced that he will resign from his post by the end of 2018, the agency’s chairman Natan Sharansky informed the Board of Governors on Sunday.

“I want to advise you that our CEO, Alan Hoffmann, has informed me today that he intends to step down no later than the end of December 2018,” Sharansky wrote in a note to the board. “Attached are two letters between Alan and myself, which are self-explanatory.

I am confident that we will find the appropriate time to thank Alan for his almost two decades of service to the Jewish Agency and the Jewish People.”

Hoffmann, an immigrant from South Africa, began working for the agency 18 years ago as director-general of the agency’s Education Department, spending the last eight years as CEO and director-general of the agency.

“These have been exciting and very meaningful years for me,” Hoffmann wrote in his letter to Sharansky. “I have seen the agency adapt itself to some of the more important changes which have shaped the face of Jewish life and Israel in these almost two decades.”

“We have helped refocus the mission, restructure the organization and recruit outstanding staff, while working closely with our constituent partners and with the government of Israel. Aliya has grown, shlihut [emissaries sent worldwide] has exploded and Masa was created in this period,” he continued. “The connection of young Israelis to the Jewish people has emerged as a new priority and the agency has significantly expanded its repertoire in partnerships and in working with the vulnerable in Israel.”

Hoffmann also described the “privilege and special pleasure” of working closely with Sharansky over the past eight years and “benefit from your leadership, passion for the entire Jewish people, your devotion to the State of Israel and your finely honed moral compass.”

He concluded that “the time has now come to step down from my position at the agency no later than the end of 2018” and that he would give the agency ample time to effect an orderly transition, particularly in light of the fact that Sharansky will step down in June and will be replaced by a successor, who has not yet been announced.

Sharansky, in his response to Hoffman, quoted our sages as saying: “It is not yours to complete the job, but you should feel gratified that you have helped lay solid foundations for the Jewish Agency of the future, connecting young Jews to Israel and young Israelis to the Jewish people, strengthening and increasing aliya and supporting the vulnerable.”

According to a well-informed insider, Hoffmann, 72 is “making way for a younger generation.”

According to the same source, Hoffmann is slated to be succeeded by Josh Schwarcz, the secretary-general of the Jewish Agency. At the recent Board of Governors meeting in Zichron Yaakov, Schwarcz was given the rank of CEO.

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