Director of Jerusalem's Israel Museum to Leave at End of 2016

James Snyder will step down after 20 years at the helm of the institution, but will continue as the international president of its friends associations’ worldwide activities.

James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum.
Yael Engelhart

James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum, will leave at end of 2016 after holding the position for 20 years. The museum’s board will soon begin seeking a replacement.

Though Snyder, 64, will be leaving the museum in January 2017, he will be spearheading the development of the museum’s international network of friends organization as the International President for the museum’s worldwide activities. In this capacity, he will work to increase overseas fund-raising and promote the museum’s ties with other museums.

The museum’s explanation for Snyder’s departure was that the institution needed someone of his stature to coordinate its international activities, especially fund-raising, which led to the creation of the new post.

Snyder, who will also receive the title of director emeritus, is widely credited with having significantly improved the museum and “consolidated its status as one of the world’s most important museums,” said board chairman Isaac Molho. He greatly increased the museum’s funding, its collection and the number of visitors, oversaw a $100 million renovation that ended in 2010 and presided last year over its 50th anniversary celebrations.