New JAFI chairman hopes to make agency 'more relevant to Israeli public'

Richard Pearlstone: We're trying to build the connection between Diaspora Jewry and Israelis.

February 14, 2007 00:45
1 minute read.
New JAFI chairman hopes to make agency 'more relevant to Israeli public'

pearlstone 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Richard Pearlstone, the chairman-elect of the Jewish Agency for Israel's (JAFI) Board of Governors, hopes to make the agency "more relevant to the Israeli public than we've been [in the past]," he told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. To that end, he said, "we're trying to build and maybe even rebuild the connection between Diaspora Jewry and Israelis." Through initiatives such as JAFI's work supporting the residents of the North during last summer's war, including maintenance of bomb shelters and support for businesses in the North, and programs offering thousands of university scholarships for Israeli soldiers, Pearlstone said he believed the agency could work to "reconnect ties to the Israeli public." Pearlstone, 59, a philanthropist and businessman who lives in Colorado but sees Baltimore as his community, has spent 13 years on the board of JAFI. Among his titles in the Jewish world, he most recently chaired the agency's Budget and Finance Committee, is a past president of the United Israel Appeal, a former board member of Baltimore's Associated Jewish Community Federation, and sits on the board of CLAL, the National Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership. "I'm really proud to be able to serve the Jewish people and especially the Jewish Agency," he said of his election, noting that his lengthy experience at JAFI and American Jewish organizations allows him to bring an "international perspective" to the job. As for the chairman's agenda for his coming four-year term, Pearlstone said: "The agency needs to continue to sharpen the focus that has been guiding us: the three pillars of aliya, youth [education] and the connection with Israel." The agency must also "try to make sure that its programming focuses on the programs that are most successful to this end," he said. Asked how he'd like others to remember his term, he said simply, "that [I] made a difference, and that [I] helped continue to lead the organization forward." In commenting on his personal religious affiliations or opinions, he was reticent. "I'm just Jewish, that's it. I don't identify with any of the streams," he said. Pearlstone was unanimously elected chairman on Sunday at the Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem. He will assume the position on June 28 following approval of his election by the 518-member Jewish Agency Assembly.

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery