Sam Grundwerg, Israel’s consul-general in Los Angeles, will replace Modi Zandberg as world chairman of Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal, one of the main fundraising institutions for the Jewish state. His appointment, still pending final approval by the World Zionist Organization, was announced on Wednesday.
Grundwerg, who was tapped by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the job, has been serving as consul-general in Los Angeles for the past two years. In that capacity, he was the senior Israeli diplomat in the southwestern part of the United States.
Born and raised in Miami, Grundwerg served as director-general in Israel for the World Jewish Congress. Before that, he worked as an attorney at an international law firm in the United States.
The incoming head of Keren Hayesod immigrated to Israel in 1990 and served as a combat soldier in the IDF armored corps.
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Zandberg, a former government minister from a now defunct right-wing party, was interrogated by police last year in connection with a case involving corruption and bribe-taking in Israel’s purchase of submarines and other naval vessels from Germany.
Isaac Herzog, former head of the Labor party, was appointed chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency in June against Netanyahu’s will. After the prime minister was overruled in that appointment, it was clear, however, that he would have a free hand in choosing the next head of Keren Hayesod.