Dov Ben-Shimon, an executive with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, was named the executive vice president/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.

Ben-Shimon, a native of England who was a medic in the Israeli military, will assume the post in the fall, the MetroWest federation announced Monday. He will succeed Max Kleinman, who is retiring after 19 years in the position.

He has served as the assistant executive vice president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Moving to Israel at 18, Ben-Shimon was an Air Force rescue medic and infantry combat medic in the Israel Defense Forces, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.

He was an assistant spokesman to then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and charge d’affaires at the Israeli Embassy in Luanda, Angola. After several years in Jerusalem as the director of resources for the Israeli Reform movement, Ben-Shimon served as major gifts officer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles before moving to the JDC.

Federation President Lori Klinghoffer called it a “historic time” for her organization.

“We have a strategic plan poised for implementation and a new CEO standing in the wings ready to take the reins and guide us into the future,” Klinghoffer said. “We are beyond confident that Dov Ben-Shimon has exactly what we here in Greater MetroWest need to drive us forward. His passion, commitment, and energy will undoubtedly inspire and motivate us all — lay leaders and professionals alike.”

Greater MetroWest, the largest Jewish philanthropy in New Jersey encompassing all or part of five counties, is the eighth largest Jewish federation in the country.