U.S. Jewish Activist Brian Lurie Replaces Naomi Chazan as New Israel Fund Chief

Brian Lurie replaces Naomi Chazan, who was targeted by right-wingers for funding organizations that assisted the Goldstone Commission.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

American Jewish activist Brian Lurie has been appointed president of the New Israel Fund, succeeding former Meretz MK Naomi Chazan, who served four tumultuous years in the post.

Lurie, a rabbi by training, was CEO of the San Francisco Jewish Federation for 17 years and has also been involved in advancing Arab-Jewish relations.

The New Israel Fund, whose Israeli headquarters is in Jerusalem, has been involved in advancing a range of projects focusing on civil society and equality in Israel.

In 2010, the New Israel Fund and Chazan herself were targeted in a campaign by the right-wing Im Tirzu organization, which claimed that they had funded groups that assisted the United Nations-appointed Goldstone Commission in its probe of Israel's military operation in Gaza. The report has been widely criticized as being unfair to Israel. Im Tirzu ads featured Chazan with a horn coming out of her forehead.

Fundraising boost

Chazan recently called that campaign "a major assault on democracy in Israel," but said that it had actually helped the New Israel Fund in its fundraising among American Jews.

She said that both the number of supporters and the total amount of contributions have increased since the campaign.

The organization, which has an annual budget of $32 million, was the subject of a report by Channel 10 last week disclosing that the New Israel Fund has been providing funding to social justice protest groups in Israel. Chazan said the organization is proud of its work on the issue.

Outgoing NIF chief Naomi ChazanCredit: Reli Avrahami
Brian Lurie (right) with Jessica Balaban and Jeff Solomon at a 2008 conference on Israeli ArabsCredit: Itzik Ben-Malki

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism