Jewish Agency Names First Native English-speaking Spokesman

Haviv Rettig Gur, 29, was born in Jerusalem to American parents and moved to the United States at the age of 8.

The Jewish Agency's new spokesman will be Haviv Rettig Gur, Haaretz has learned. The 29-year-old Tel Aviv resident and Jewish world correspondent for the Jerusalem Post will be the first native English speaker to head the agency's spokesperson's office in over 50 years, officials said yesterday immediately after his nomination, which followed a two-week tender process.

Haviv Rettig Gur

Born in Jerusalem to American parents, Rettig Gur moved to the United States at the age of 8. Upon his return 10 years later, he served in the Israel Defense Forces' Nahal Brigade. Rettig Gur, who this year graduated from Tel Aviv University, joined the Jerusalem Post in 2005 where he soon began covering stories related to the Jewish world. He also wrote numerous articles on the Jewish Agency in particular.

He most recently covered the venerable institution's new strategic plan to focus on the fostering of Jewish identity, which its board of governors adopted last week.

"Natan Sharansky has launched a new mission" for the agency, one official close to Rettig Gur commented yesterday, referring to the organization's chairman. "Turning it around is hard, but at the end of the process, we'll hopefully have the Jewish Agency that Jews today - everywhere in the world - actually need."

Rettig Gur replaces Gil Litman, who will return to his previous position at the Israel Broadcasting Authority after a two-year leave of absence.