Doron Almog, incoming Jewish Agency chairman, revealed his two commitments – or “lives,” as he calls them – that define his professional and personal life. One is the army; the other is being an active advocate for the disabled in Israel through his establishment of the ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran organization in honor of his son.
In an interview on the Israeli-American podcast Thirty-Six hosted by new immigrant Justin Hayet, Almog spoke about his vision for his next “life” as the chairman of the Jewish Agency, and his commitment to building Jewish unity.
“My life is dedicated to the disabled like my son Eran, and maybe now I am taking [on] a ‘third commitment’: to strengthen the Jewish people by becoming chairman of the Jewish Agency,” he said.
That commitment, he said, is “starting another Jewish journey to unite our people and to always remember that we have one Jewish state, as our parents said. We need to guarantee that this state, this only Jewish state, will not only survive and prevail against a threat from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, missiles, [foreign] military, attacks and war, but also a split society.”
"We need to guarantee that this state, this only Jewish state, will not only survive and prevail against a threat from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, missiles, [foreign] military, attacks and war, but also a split society."Doron Almog
Almog told Hayet that “we need to unite our people, and we do not have the privilege to lose one segment [of it]. We need to unite all of us: The Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, traditional, secular – together. To be united, one people – a strong people – in order to guarantee our existence by this unity.”
His interview will be released on Thursday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Almog was selected as the new chairman of the Jewish Agency last week, after the organization went a year without a permanent leader. Yaakov Hagoel was serving as acting chairman after Isaac Herzog became Israel’s president.
Almog is founder and chairman of ADI Negev Nahalat Eran Rehabilitation Village (formerly ALEH Negev Nahalat Eran), which provides residential, medical and social services to the disabled. He previously served as head of the IDF’s Southern Command, in charge of securing the border with the Gaza Strip.
In 2005, Almog landed in London but was warned not to disembark after Israel learned that British police were waiting to arrest him, based on a warrant issued over his previous command of IDF troops in the Gaza Strip. He stayed on the plane and returned to Israel.