Candidate’s departure doesn’t expedite Jewish Agency decision

The real deadline is only the end of February, when the Agency’s Board of Governors is set to convene.

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

The Jewish Agency’s chairmanship selection committee decided this week to keep taking its time with its choice, even though one of its candidates left the race because it had still not been completed.

ANU Museum of the Jewish People director Irina Nevzlin announced on Monday night that she was quitting the contest. The committee met the next day and considered expediting the process but decided against it.

A source on the committee revealed that the new deadline for joining the race is December 31. But even after that, any member of the selection committee will still be able to bring a new candidate until the decision is made.

The real deadline is only the end of February when the Agency’s Board of Governors is set to convene. Until then, Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid is likely to take his time revealing the government’s candidate. Lapid told reporters at his Yesh Atid faction meeting on Monday that he has a candidate, as he has done in every faction meeting over the past six weeks.

The current candidates were told last week that the process is ongoing and can stop at any point. They were told that they may be summoned for additional in-depth interviews.

Chairwoman of the Board at the Museum of the Jewish People Irina Nevzlin. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Chairwoman of the Board at the Museum of the Jewish People Irina Nevzlin. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Nevzlin’s departure left seven candidates: Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Bar-Ilan University law professor Yaffa Zilbershats, and former MKs Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Danny Danon, Uzi Dayan, Michael Oren and former Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich.

In private conversations, the candidates complained that the decision had not been made yet, one way or another.

“This process has gone on for so long that it is harming the credibility of the institution of the Jewish Agency, and that is sad,” one of the candidates said on Thursday.