Yair Lapid proposes former MK Ruth Calderon to head Jewish Agency

Calderon, who is a veteran Jewish educator, will be the candidate of the government in place of Intelligence Services Minister Elazar Stern, who dropped out of the race.

The Jewish Agency headquarters in Jerusalem (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
The Jewish Agency headquarters in Jerusalem
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced on Wednesday that his candidate to head the Jewish Agency would be former Yesh Atid MK Ruth Calderon.

Calderon, who is a veteran Jewish educator, will be the candidate of Yesh Atid in place of Intelligence Services Minister Elazar Stern, who dropped out of the race. But unlike with Stern, who had the backing of Prime Minister Nafali Bennett, a source close to Bennett said he had not yet decided whether to support her. A Yesh Atid spokesman said Lapid thinks Bennett will end up endorsing her.

“Dr. Ruth Calderon is a role model, who will represent us well,” Lapid said.

But Calderon is expected to be vetoed by the representative of the Orthodox World Mizrachi on the selection committee. One more ‘no’ vote among the ten-member committee would be enough to defeat Calderon.

Calderon joined five candidates who were invited to a second interview this week. Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and former MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh were interviewed on Tuesday. Former minister Danny Danon and former deputy minister Michael Oren will receive a second interview on Thursday night. The final candidate is former minister Omer Yankelevich.

 Former MK Ruth Calderon. (credit: VARDI KAHANA) Former MK Ruth Calderon. (credit: VARDI KAHANA)

The latest deadline for joining the race is Friday. The real deadline is only the end of February, when the Board of Governors convenes to approve the new Agency head.