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CONTACT: Naomi Paiss
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[email protected]

‘Influential Woman’ Rachel Liel Named Israel Executive Director for New Israel Fund

13 August 2009

Washington/Jerusalem: The New Israel Fund announced today that Rachel Liel has been selected to serve as the new Executive Director in Israel. Liel, named one of the 40 women making the most significant contributions to Israeli society by Ha’aretz in 2007, has directed Shatil, NIF’s action arm in Israel, since 1998.

“Rachel’s accomplishments at Shatil have been extraordinary,” said NIF President Naomi Chazan. “Under her tenure, Shatil exponentially expanded its core capacity-building while developing an exciting portfolio of projects promoting social change for women, minorities, youth at risk and many other marginalized groups.  At a time when the New Israel Fund is facing greater challenges than ever in advancing human rights and social justice, Rachel’s intellect, character and her ability to motivate and engage make her the obvious  choice for this key position.”

Under Liel’s tenure, Shatil opened new offices in the eastern Galilee and the Triangle; conceived and executed an ambitious plan building new civil society organizations in the North following the Second Lebanon War; developed Israel’s only comprehensive program for social change in the Mixed Cities; built successful coalitions on issues ranging from health care to the rights of women divorcing under Orthodox Jewish law;  and established respected programs for leadership development and conflict resolution.

Liel holds a Master’s degree in Sociology/Anthropology and in Social Work. She has served as Deputy Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Services in the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, and worked as a Policy Analyst in the Department of Social Policy Planning of the Prime Minister’s Office.  She has lived in the U.S. , accompanying her husband Alon and their three children on diplomatic missions to Chicago and Atlanta.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the New Israel Fund is the leading organization advancing equality and democracy for all Israelis.  NIF has funded, founded and trained most of the significant progressive organizations in Israel, and remains the first funder for cutting-edge social change.  Liel succeeds current Israel Executive Director Eliezer Ya’ari, who has led NIF Israel for 12 years, overseeing the tremendous growth in NIF’s operations and activities in Israel.

Media Note: Rachel Liel will visit Washington, DC; New York; Miami, FL; and Boston October 26th-November 4th. To arrange an interview with Rachel in your city, please contact Naomi Paiss at 202-513-7824 or [email protected].

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