JERUSALEM, Israel - Jewish Agency officials welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's choice of former minister Natan Sharansky for chairman of the Jewish Agency.
Sharansky, known worldwide for his years as a Prisoner of Zion in the former Soviet Union, will have to decide whether to leave his post as head of the Shalem Center's Adelson Intitute for Strategic Studies.
"The Jewish Agency needs a chairman who has international stature, something it hasn't had since Ben-Gurion was chairman before the state was founded," one agency official noted.
"Sharansky himself is a brand and that's important for fundraising," he said.
Should he decide to accept the prime minister's endorsement, Sharansky would first be elected chairman of the World Zionist Organization at the General Council meeting on June 16-18 in Jerusalem.
That appointment would be followed by election as chairman of the Jewish Agency at the assembly meeting scheduled for June 21-23.
Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy, was widely quoted by former U.S. President George W. Bush in his second inaugural address.
Source: The Jerusalem Post