Jewish Agency officials are mourning the death of a veteran Anglo colleague credited with linking Diaspora Jewish communities with Israel's central and northern regions.

Damon Rose, the British-born northern regional director of partnerships, died Wednesday after a 13-month bout with stomach cancer. He was 51.

"He was a visionary," said colleague Andrea Arbel, director of the Jewish Agency's partnerships unit, who knew Rose for more than 20 years. "He knew what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go. But unlike other visionaries, he knew how to plan and implement his vision, which is a rare mix," said Arbel, who eulogized Rose at Wednesday's funeral service, which she said was attended by well over 100 friends and colleagues.

"I knew Damon for many years," said Natie Shevel, Israel regional director of United Jewish Israel Appeal. "He was a good friend, an incredibly committed professional, and a true Zionist."

In a career with the Jewish Agency that spanned more than 20 years, Rose served as adviser to the director general of the aliyah and klita department, and later as regional director of the Hadera and Upper Galilee region, where he was instrumental in establishing the Hadera-Iron Partnership with a consortium of 12 Jewish communities from the southeastern United States.

"The success and the beauty of the partnership really lies on the foundations that Damon built there," said Arbel, a native of New York City.

Rose developed a similar partnership for the Western Galilee and Nahariya while serving as its regional director.

A London native who immigrated to Israel with his family in 1963, when he was 2 years old, Rose grew up in Haifa and attended Hebrew Reali School. He earned a bachelor's degree from Hebrew University, where he studied political science and history, and a master's degree in public administration and policy from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Rose was a longtime resident of the northern town of Kfar Vradim, where he was buried. He is survived by his wife, Leah; two daughters, Orian, 17, and Lital, 20; and by his parents, David and Carole of Haifa.