Israel's 'Captain Sunshine' May Say 'Aye, Aye' to Presidential Run

The Knesset knows who to call if they don't want the president be an aging politician, solar power innovator (and brother-in-law of famous comedian Sarah Silverman) tells IBA News.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Israeli-American solar power innovator Yosef Abramowitz is considering a run to become Israel's next president, he revealed Sunday in an interview with IBA News in English.

Abramowitz, 49, said he wouldn't confirm or deny that he was throwing his hat into the ring, but said, “If the Knesset decides that they don’t want the brand equity of the presidency to be an aging politician, but instead to be Israeli innovation to change the world, inspiring the next generation, and bringing massive investment into the Israeli economy, they know who to call."

The man called "Captain Sunshine" co-founded the Arava Power Company on Kibbutz Ketura in 2006, and five years later co-founded Energiya Global, which is working on solar energy projects in Rwanda and additional locations in South America and Europe. CNN recently named him one of the top six "Green Pioneers" worldwide.

Abramowitz is married to Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman, the sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, and one of his five children, Hallel Abramowitz, is active in Women of the Wall.

"I think we know how to get angry about injustice," he told IBA News about his family. "Instead of just being angry and just being frustrated, [we have] to do something about it."

He compared Women of the Wall's campaign for pluralism with his quest for alternative energy sources. "At the Kotel, with Women of the Wall they're breaking a monopoly essentially," he said. "We're doing the same thing with renewable energy; we're kind of a little feisty and stand up to monopolies, I guess."

Should he run for president, Abramowitz would join a list of contenders that includes former Knesset Speaker and Likud MK Reuven Rivlin, Labor MK Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman and former Supreme Court Judge Dalia Dorner.

Israel's current president, Shimon Peres, announced late last year that he would step down in June, after seven years in the post.

Yosef Abramowitz with President Shimon Peres. In the background: Sarah Silverman and Rabbi Susan Silverman, his wife. Photo courtesy.